There will be a new look to the Auckland Rugby League’s Premiership structure in 2019, with a revamped format announced today.
What was previously two Premiership competitions will become three, with the introduction of the Fox Championship, to go with the Fox Memorial Premiership and Sharman Cup
Next year 12 clubs will contest a Fox Memorial Premiership qualifying series, with all 10 of the teams who competed in the 2018 first division remaining in the competition, and 2018 second division winners Bay Roskill, and runners-up Manurewa, joining.
The top eight sides at the end of the 11-week Fox Memorial Premiership qualifying period will go through to contest the Auckland first division competition.
The bottom four clubs at the end of Fox Memorial Premiership qualifying, and the top four clubs from Fox Championship qualifying (made up of all of the Premiership clubs not competing in the Fox Memorial Premiership qualifying), will come together to form the Fox Championship.
The Fox Championship will see eight teams play each other once over a seven-week series, with the top four sides at the end of that period earning a spot in Fox Memorial Premiership qualifying for the following season.
The remaining clubs who don’t qualify through for the Fox Memorial Premiership or Fox Championship will contest the Sharman Cup.
Auckland Rugby League general manager Greg Whaiapu said the new format gives clubs more opportunities to secure a place in the Auckland first division.
“The introduction of the Fox Championship provides greater competition across the board, and gives clubs four spots from which they could potentially gain promotion to the first division, as opposed to the old format where only the winner of the Sharman Cup could move up,” Whaiapu said.
“This also gives first division teams who have missed out on the Premiership play-offs something meaningful to play for. We see it as a system that is positive for everyone involved.”
2019 PREMIERSHIP STRUCTURE SUMMARY
Fox Memorial Premiership
Made up of the top 8 teams from Fox Memorial Premiership qualifying
8 teams play a 7-game season where everyone plays everyone once.
The top 4 teams make the play-offs
Made up of the bottom 4 teams from Fox Memorial Premiership qualifying and the top 4 sides from Fox Championship qualifying
8 teams play a 7-game series season where everyone plays everyone once
The top 4 teams at the conclusion of the Fox Championship earn places in the Fox Memorial Premiership qualifying for the following year
Made up of all Premiership teams not contesting the Fox Memorial Premiership or Fox Championship.