The National Rugby League (NRL) today announced the 2024 calendar will officially kick off with the 2024 NRL Harvey Norman All Stars, at Townsville’s Queensland Country Bank Stadium on Friday, February 16.
The annual fixture, between the Indigenous and Māori male and female teams, will form part of a packed pre-season, with the Pre-Season Challenge matches also confirmed today.
NRL Chief Executive Andrew Abdo said All Stars would kick off the 2024 schedule in memorable fashion.
“After a successful match in New Zealand in 2023, All Stars returns to Townsville to kick off the 2024 season," he said.
“The full week of community engagement, education and cultural activities is unique and unrivalled in sport. There is no better way to celebrate the start of our season.”
Harvey Norman CEO Katie Page added: “It is the ultimate tribute to the contribution of the Indigenous and Māori communities that the Harvey Norman NRL All Stars heralds the start of each new season.
“The 13th All Stars contest is a significant milestone and brilliant that it is returning to Queensland in Townsville for 2024.
“Harvey Norman has been proud naming rights partner since the first Indigenous All Stars on the Gold Coast in 2010. The North Queensland Cowboys demonstrate every day what community unity and spirit means to the people of Townsville and Far North Queensland.
To see this vibrant city bring All Stars to life will be a celebration of Indigenous and Māori cultures in rugby league heartland.Harvey Norman CEO Katie Page
The 2024 NRL Harvey Norman All Stars will feature the women’s and men’s Indigenous and Māori teams. Tickets and hospitality will be on sale later this year.
The All Stars matches will be broadcast live on the Nine Network, Fox League, Kayo Sports, Sky Sport New Zealand and Watch NRL.
The 2024 Harvey Norman All Stars is proudly supported by the Queensland Government, via Tourism and Events Queensland, along with Stadiums Queensland.
The NRL has also announced the 2024 Pre-Season Challenge will include matches in Christchurch, Mackay, Queanbeyan, Mudgee and Sunshine Coast, and will also feature three double headers.
The 2024 Pre-Season Challenge, which will follow on from the success of last year’s inaugural tournament won by Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, will begin on Thursday, February 15, and end on Sunday, February 25.
The pre-season challenge format and points system will remain consistent with 2023, which means there will be $100,000 in prize money up for grabs, split evenly between clubs and players.
Teams will once again earn bonus points for tries, line breaks and offloads. Playing squads will be capped at 28 players per week.
All matches will be broadcast live and exclusive on Fox Sports and Kayo.
The full 2024 Pre-Season Challenge draw is available via www.nrl.com/draw.