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The Rugby League International Federation has today released the draw for the 2018 Commonwealth Championship.

This month’s spectacular event will be held in the Moreton Bay Region and will bring together 11 Commonwealth nations across two days in three division’s – Men’s Under 23, Women’s and Physical Disability.

A highly-anticipated men’s clash between Pacific island rivals Tonga and Samoa is scheduled to kick off the action on the morning of Friday, February 23 at Redcliffe’s refurbished Dolphin Stadium.

It is the first of 22 Day 1 matches to be contested in the fan-friendly 9-a-side format.

The opening day concludes with the host nation featuring in three matches across each of the competitions, providing local fans with the opportunity to get along to the ground to cheer on the Australian teams after work or school.

Australia is drawn to play New Zealand in the Physical Disability competition before meeting Fiji in Men’s and Women’s matches to close out the evening.

On the Saturday, the stakes will rise once more with teams to play in a series of qualifying matches before the championships conclude with bronze and gold medal matches.

RLIF Chief Executive Officer Dr David Collier said it was shaping up to be a fantastic event.

“The Commonwealth Championships provided an outstanding competition at Glasgow 2014,” Dr Collier said.

“Following the success of the Women’s World Cup, these Championships embrace an expanded event including six Women’s nations in addition to the eight Men’s teams.

“RLIF is extremely grateful to Moreton Bay for the excellent facilities and to the continued support of the Commonwealth Games for the sport of Rugby League.

“The 2018 championships will provide a great weekend of world class sport for spectators and players alike and we look forward to welcoming the teams to Queensland this month.”

With less than a month until the opening kick-off, league great Petero Civoniceva is putting the call outfor footy fans to snap up their tickets and join him at the unique event.

A proud local who shot to international prominence after starting out with the Redcliffe Dolphins, Civoniceva is thrilled to bring the “world” to his backyard for the rugby league Nines extravaganza.

Moreton Bay Regional Mayor Allan Sutherland said February would be ‘Rugby League Heaven’ in the Moreton Bay Region.

“Before all the action of the Commonwealth Games gets under way there’s one place to be – Moreton Bay,” he said.

“We’re no stranger to hosting large sporting events here and we’re thrilled to be welcoming players, coaches, staff and die-hard league supporters from around the world for the 2018 Commonwealth Championship.

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