Ipswich Jets mentor Keiron Lander (right) is among the new group of coaches in the Intrust Super Cup this season. Picture: QRL
Ipswich Jets mentor Keiron Lander (right) is among the new group of coaches in the Intrust Super Cup this season. Picture: QRL

Valuable backing for women’s statewide game

RUGBY LEAGUE: A group of emerging and senior stars have launched the inaugural statewide women's competition, which will be known as the BHP Premiership.

The women's players joined all 14 Intrust Super Cup coaches as well as representatives from the Hastings Deering Colts and Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup competitions to officially welcome the start of the new season.

All four statewide leagues start next weekend, with 25 games to be played throughout the state and northern NSW.

QRL Managing Director Robert Moore said excitement was building ahead of the new season. "The 2020 season is shaping up to be ground-breaking year for rugby league in Queensland with the start of the highly-anticipated BHP Premiership," Moore said.

"We congratulate all eight clubs for the work they have put in to get to this point, as well as our passionate and dedicated team here at the QRL.''

Moore sent his best wishes to all clubs involved in this year's statewide competitions.

"An extraordinary amount of hard work and sacrifice goes into preparing teams, and if pre-season standards are anything to go by, we're in for an outstanding year across all competitions," Moore said.

Burleigh will press their claims for back-to-back Intrust Super Cup premierships in the 25th season of Queensland's premier men's competition.

The Bears will be guided by former Newcastle Knights mentor Rick Stone, who has returned to the club he led to grand final victories in 1999 and 2004.

Craig Hodges is another former Cup coach with NRL experience who is also seeking success in the Intrust Super Cup. Hodges is overseeing the Easts Tigers campaign after linking with the Langlands Park club from the Gold Coast Titans.

The seasoned pair will go up against four coaches who are leading the fortunes of an Intrust Super Cup team for the first time in 2020.

They are Keiron Lander (Ipswich Jets), Michael Crawley (Mackay Cutters), Matt Church (PNG Hunters) and Sam Mawhinney (Sunshine Coast).