The annual National NRL Masters Carnival is kicking off next week with a record 83 teams – including a number from overseas – taking part in the tournament.

Download the 2016 NRL Masters poster here

As in previous years, the carnival is being hosted by the Runaway Bay Seagulls Rugby League Club and this season will take place from Wednesday, March 2 through to Saturday, March 5.

This year, a team from Cook Island will be making their Masters debut, with the inclusion of the Cook Island Turtles. They will join two New Zealand teams as the international participants.

Location breakdown of teams competing:

Queensland 39
New South Wales 30
Victoria 4
ACT 3
New Zealand 2
WA 1
NT 1
SA 1
Norfolk Island 1
Cook Islands 1

The annual Masters tournament is growing every year, with the first official Masters event seeing 15 teams attend the Gold Coast carnival.

Masters rugby league provides an opportunity for players and officials to continue their involvement in the game in a safe and enjoyable manner.

As well as the scheduled tournament matches, a Men of League All Stars game being played on the Friday is expected to provide many highlights for rugby league fans.

Some of the names taking part include fan favourites: Petero Civoniceva, Robbie O’Davis, Marcus Bai, Matt Geyer, Scott Sattler, Ash Harrison, Kevin Campion, Wally Fullerton-Smith, David Solomona and Quentin Pongia.

Last year, two new NRL Masters Merit Awards were announced and were presented to NRL Masters referees boss, Paul Oliver from the QRL and the Jamberoos organisation, long-time supporters of the Masters.

More information about the Masters competition can be found here: www.nrlmasters.com