After the inaugural 2018 season was an instant success, the ProTen Community Cup will kick off again on Saturday.
The pre-season knockout at Goolgowi will see the six clubs get two hit outs in two 20 minute halves. The two winners from each pool of three play each other in the final at 4pm.
Last year's victors, Hillston, will be looking to claim the shield again under the guidance of coaches Mark Rathmell and Sam Fensom.
The Bluebirds also welcome local boy Jarrod Cahill who will undoubtedly have some strike power out wide. Hillston's home round is against arch-rivals Goolgowi in June.
The Ivanhoe Roosters are set for a big season. Not only have they recruited well under coach Conrad McGinty, and have plenty of depth, they already have two pre-season clashes under their belt, including a 34-30 away win over Murray Cup powerhouse Corowa Cougars.
In a massive boost for the community they have recently re-turfed Sahara Oval and are looking forward to hosting their first game in over 14 years.
Ivanhoe will take on Rankins Springs at home on June 29, and hold an Old Boys Game between Ivanhoe and Group 17. In a first for the town, they will host the grand final on July 27.
The Narrandera Lizards have been training since November in order to make a bigger impact on the competition. There is no doubt they will do that with Gary Ingram coaching with Troy Prior. Narrandera will host a representative fixture between ProTen Cup and Murray Cup on August 31. Round two on June 1 sees the Lizards hosting Barellan.
The Barellan Rams have kept most of their roster from last year, with Ben Evans and Jimmy McDermott returning to the helm. Rugby converts Campbell Dalton, and Brendon Murray have joined the squad and have picked up league well.
Also new to the squad are locals John Evans, Andrew Robertson, and Nick Ohlsen, all having their first crack at rugby league, while experienced prop Sam Everett will add some depth.
This year the Rams will celebrate their 20 year anniversary of their 1999 Clayton Cup premiership, and wear a heritage strip for their home game on July 6 against Narrandera. Jerseys will be auctioned off afterwards.
Goolgowi, who featured in the knockout final and grand final will again be a force, with coaches John Michael Cahill and Alex Brown staying in charge. The Rabbitohs had an impressive win over Ivanhoe in a trial game where they ran out winners 40-12.
Not only are they thrilled to host the knockout, but their home game on June 15 against Ivanhoe marks 90 years as a club. Players will don an alternative strip for the clash, and the jerseys will be up for grabs. Some new signings include Nick Johnson, Rory Brown, Jono Morris, Danny Graham, Brett Weber, and Jake Melvin.
Premiers Rankins Springs will miss Josh Curphey who was instrumental not only as coach but also in leading the ProTen Cup representative side. Hard-hitting centre Kane Wilson is a ready-made replacement however. Kyle McGlashan, Thomas Judd, and Matthew Hart join the ranks and the three will make their debut in round one on May 25.
The Dragons were unlucky to not come away with a win when they travelled to West Wyalong for a trial in March, and went down to the reserve grade Mallee Men 16-12. They will look to return to the winning arena when they host Hillston in a fortnight.
10.30am: Hillston v Barellan
11.20am: Goolgowi v Rankin Springs
12.10pm: Barellan v Ivanhoe
1pm: Narrandera v Goolgowi
1.50pm: Ivanhoe v Hillston
2.40pm: Rankin Springs v Narrandera
4pm: Final, winner pool A v winner pool B
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