NRL Touch Football has released the draw for the 2019 NRL Touch Premiership. The second year of this elite touch football tournament will expand significantly, with more NRL clubs involved, and about four times as many gamedays at many more stadiums across the country.
Games will be played as curtain-raisers to NRL matches, with broadcast details to be released shortly.
NRL Touch Football CEO Steve Mitchell said spectators seeing elite touch football for the first time in last year's inaugural tournament were surprised how entertaining the gameday experience is.
"Because of the speed of elite touch football, the phenomenal footwork, long balls, dives and the family-friendly nature of the sport, the NRL Touch Premiership has been coined as rugby league's answer to the Big Bash.
"But that was just the beginning," he added. "With 26 gamedays involving eight NRL clubs, 240 elite athletes at 12 stadiums around the country, and more ways to tune in to the broadcast, the 2019 NRL Touch Premiership will really showcase elite touch football as the exciting spectator sport it is."
The 2019 NRL Touch Premiership in numbers:
8 NRL clubs: The tournament has expanded from six NRL clubs in 2018 to eight in 2019, with the Sydney Roosters and the New Zealand Warriors joining the Wests Tigers, Parramatta Eels, Newcastle Knights, Gold Coast Titans, Brisbane Broncos and North Queensland Cowboys in this elite touch football tournament.
240 elite athletes: Each of the eight NRL clubs will field both an elite women's and elite men's touch team, meaning that more than 120 female and 120 male athletes will be competing to win their club a Premiership.
26 gamedays: The tournament will also significantly extend in gamedays – from just seven in 2018 to 26 in 2019. The tournament will run across five months of the NRL season, from 6th April to 18th August.
12 stadiums: Matches will be played at all major stadiums throughout Australia (including ANZ, Suncorp and CBUS Stadiums), as well as the brand new Western Sydney Stadium, Adelaide Oval, Glen Willow Stadium in Mudgee and Mt Smart Stadium in New Zealand. The ready-made audience of 680,000 Australian touch participants, and 260,000 in New Zealand, plus the related rugby league fanbase, will have the opportunity to spectate live in stadium.