The NSWRL has today unveiled an exciting new structure for the 2022 Western Premiership which includes a conference system and crossover games and a top eight finals system involving teams from each conference, with the premier to take part in the Presidents Cup to determine the State Champion.
NSWRL Director and Group 11 Chair Bob Walsh and Group 10 Chair Linore Zamparini announced the structure, which was supported by NSWRL Chief Executive David Trodden, NSWRL Head of Football Robert Lowrie, and NSWRL Community Rugby League Manager Peter Clarke.
“Following a thorough consultation process with club delegates across Western NSW, the NSWRL is excited to confirm the format for the Western Premiership in 2022,” Lowrie said.
“The objective of the NSWRL One State Plan is to create competition opportunities like the Western Premiership and we are confident this concept will encourage further development across Regional competitions.
“Complimenting the ‘intra-conference’ schedule for each first grade team will be four first grade games against cross-group rivals.
“At the end of the preliminary rounds, the top four teams from Group 10 and Group 11 conferences will compete in the Western Premiership finals series.
“Evan Jones and the steering committee have done a terrific job working with clubs to evolve the concept to a reality, while David Skinner has worked tirelessly on the draw development.
“The Western Conference Premier will go on to contest the Presidents Cup against the champion clubs from the Central Conference (Sydney), Southern Conference (Wollongong) and Northern Conference (Newcastle) and have a chance to lay claim to the best team in the state.
“The Western Region has produced many wonderful Rugby League players and I am confident the new structure announced today will continue that proud tradition into the future.”
The NSWRL announced in March its plans to provide new opportunities for clubs in Groups 10 and 11 which would set Western NSW up for success for generations to come and has undergone an extensive consultation process with relevant stakeholders since then.
Group 10 includes clubs from Bathurst, Blayney, Cowra, Lithgow, Mudgee and Orange, while Group 11 includes clubs from Dubbo, Forbes, Narromine, Nyngan, Parkes and Wellington.
The revamped format includes:
- a first-past-the-post system and silverware for both the top clubs from Group 10 and Group 11 to preserve history and uphold traditional conferences;
- a minimum of four crossover games between Group 10 against Group 11 teams with travel to be minimised;
- the top four teams from Group 10 and Group 11 to advance to a play-off series involving eight teams who will all vie for the Western Premiership;
- the Western Premiership winner to take part in the end-of-season two-week Presidents Cup competition to determine the State Champion for 2022.
Zamparini, who has been working closely with Walsh and other stakeholders on the project, said he was looking forward to the new structure in 2022 which will run from April to September.
“Significantly the schedule acknowledges the proud history of both Groups, yet presents innovation creating exciting new contests and rivalries,” he said.
Walsh said: “It’s a terrific initiative, we have flexibility to cater for clubs of different levels, there’s variety through the cross over series plus a road to a state title in the Presidents Cup.
“The key concern from clubs was splitting club volunteer resources. We’ve addressed this, and under this structure club grades will be synchronised.”
The Western Under 21s competition will run from February to April in 2022 and consideration will also be given by clubs and groups to incorporate an Under 18s competition into the structure.
WESTERN PREMIERSHIP CONFERENCE FINALS (TOP 8 FORMAT)
Top 4 teams Group 10 Conference
Top 4 teams Group 11 Conference
WEEK 1 FINALS
Game A – G10 1st v G11 2nd
Game B – G10 3rd v G11 4th
Game C – G11 1st v G10 2nd
Game D – G11 3rd v G10 4th
WEEK 2 FINALS
Game E – Loser Game A v Winner Game B
Game F – Loser Game C v Winner Game D
WEEK 3 FINALS
Game G – Winner Game A v Winner Game F
Game H – Winner Game C v Winner Game G
WEEK 4 FINALS
GAME I – WESTERN PREMIERSHIP GRAND FINAL
Winner Game G v Winner Game H