The NSWRL is pleased to announce the return of Country vs City fixtures to the representative calendar this season after a four-year absence with eight games to be played across two days in two different locations on the weekend of 15-16 May.
Previously a representative fixture which acted as a pathway for the NSW Origin team, the rejigged concept will see Country vs City matches being played in Wheelchair Rugby League, Physical Disability Rugby League, Under 16s, Under 18s, Women’s Open Age and Men’s Open Age.
There will also be two Steel City Challenge matches between Newcastle and Illawarra for the Under 20s and Men’s Open Age.
The venues will include Bankwest Stadium on Saturday 15 May for the Country vs City games in Under 16s, Under 18s and Women’s Open Age, and Shellharbour Stadium for the Wheelchair Rugby League match.
The action will shift to Collegians Sporting Complex in Figtree on Sunday 16 May for the Country vs City games in Physical Disability Rugby League and Men’s Open Age, and the Under 20s and Men’s Open Age Steel City Challenge.
The Country vs City matches at Bankwest Stadium and Collegians Sporting Complex will be live streamed on NSWRL-TV to keep fans across the state up to date with all the action. Click here for link.
“Country vs City has a tremendously proud history and it’s great to see the concept return to the calendar,” NSWRL Head of Football Robert Lowrie said.
“There have been plenty of great players who have donned the Country or City jerseys that have gone on to higher representative honours and I’m sure that will continue to be the case with some of the best young talent on display in our pathways teams.
“The games are always willing with players from both teams determined to put their best foot forward. The Steel City Challenge games between Newcastle and Illawarra will be just as intense with both cities also proud of their heritage.
“I’d encourage all fans to come along and watch what promises to be a great two days of Rugby League action.”
The Under 16s Country team is made up of players from the SLE Andrew Johns Cup and the City team from the UNE Harold Matthews Cup, while the Under 18s Country team is from the SLE Laurie Daley Cup and the City team the UNE SG Ball Cup.
The Country Men’s team will be made up of players from Men’s Country Championships, the City Men’s team from the Ron Massey Cup, the Country Women’s team from the Women’s Country Championships and the City Women’s team from the Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership.
The Newcastle team for the Under 20s and Men’s Open Age Steel City Challenges will be made up from players from the Newcastle competition including the Denton Engineering Cup, while the Illawarra team will be made up players from the Illawarra competition including the Mojo Homes Illawarra Cup.
Country vs City matches started in 1911 with the best players from Country Rugby Leagues taking on the best players from the NSWRL premiership. The concept was then shelved before returning in 1928 and in 1987 was played under Origin selection rules.
The last match was played in 2017 with the City Origin team beating the Country Origin team 20-10.
Fans wanting to attend the matches at Bankwest Stadium are encouraged to pre-purchase tickets in line with COVID-19 guidelines. Click here for the link.
Tickets for Collegians Sporting Complex will be available at the ground on the day.
Saturday 15 May
9.30am: Country vs City Wheelchair Rugby League
11am: Country vs City Under 16s
12.40am: Country vs City Under 18s
2.30pm: Country Women’s vs City Women’s
Sunday 16 May
Collegians Sporting Complex
10am: Country vs City Physical Disability
11am: Steel City Challenge Newcastle vs Illawarra Under 20s
12.30pm: Country Men’s vs City Men’s
2.30pm: Steel City Challenge Newcastle vs Illawarra