Chairman Bruce Hatcher has today launched an exciting new era of pathway competitions for the Queensland Rugby League.
Speaking at the 2018 QRL Major Competitions Season Launch at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), Mr Hatcher welcomed the addition of the new statewide Under 20s competition.
The inaugural Hastings Deering Colts will kick-off tomorrow with six games spread across the south east, central/north Queensland and Victoria.
Mr Hatcher said the addition of the Hastings Deering Colts would “strengthen” the QRL’s flagship competition – the Intrust Super Cup.
“We now have three great competitions to look forward to this year,” Mr Hatcher said.
“It really is an exciting time to be playing the game with the Mal Meninga Cup (U18s), Hastings Deering Colts and Intrust Super Cup providing the pathway for participants to progress to the NRL and higher representative honours.
“I’m exceptionally proud of how the Intrust Super Cup has developed – every local ground has character; and the standard of play and professionalism of players and clubs is a credit to all involved.”
Round 1 of the Intrust Super Cup gets underway tomorrow, with the Sunshine Coast Falcons hosting the Burleigh Bears in front of the Channel 9 cameras (1.10pm kick off).
PNG Hunters begin their premiership defence with a home match against the unpredictable Ipswich Jets, while the first instalment of this year’s Foley Shield rivalry will feature the Mackay Cutters and Townsville Blackhawks.
The opening round match between the Northern Pride and Wynnum Manly Seagulls has been relocated from Barlow Park to Suzuki Stadium (Langlands Park) due to the heavy rain in Cairns.
Intrust Super CEO Brendan O’Farrell said he was looking forward to another fantastic year of competition.
“It’s a true privilege to be able to support the QRL’s efforts to ensure everyone in our city and regional communities can share in the fantastic opportunity to access great footy week-after-week,” Mr O’Farrell said.
“This year will be an exciting one for Intrust Super. We are building on our strong relationship with the QRL by extending our sponsorship of this great competition for a further five years.
“The strong partnership has further provided the Fund with an opportunity to grow its pathway into the Origin arena.
“We look forward to being part of the winning culture that has been developed by the QRL and now present coach Kevin Walters and his support staff over many years.”
At today’s launch, an inspiring new Hastings Deering Colts advert was unveiled which captures the blood, sweat and tears that go into fulfilling rugby league dreams.
The broadcast campaign will be matched by signage in key areas throughout Queensland.
Whether you are on the plains of the Darling Downs, the cane fields of Mackay or the cattle yards of Central Queensland, you’ll be able to find a poster for the Hastings Deering Colts competition in your region.
Hastings Deering General Manager – People and External Affairs, Vincent Cosgrove said the company was proud to be a sponsor of this new competition that fosters up-and-coming players.
“As one of the largest employers in Queensland’s regional centres, this competition provides Hastings Deering with another great opportunity to support the local communities in which we work, live and play,” Mr Cosgrove said.
“Competitive sport positively engages communities on a number of levels, it keeps people fit, encourages teamwork and fair play and brings communities together to watch the games.”
Mr Cosgrove said this inaugural Hastings Deering Colts competition would provide a unique opportunity through sport to align Queensland’s premier sporting body with Queensland’s favourite machinery company.
“Whether it is in our workshops or on the footy field, we are committed to making a difference and supporting and fostering the young talent of the future,” Mr Cosgrove said.
“We strive to bring out the best in our young people and our company values are closely matched to the QRL’s values of Excellence, Inclusiveness, Courage and Teamwork.”
“It’s a great partnership with the Greatest Game of All and we can’t wait for kick off tomorrow.”