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NRL 2020: Valentine Holmes, North Queensland Cowboys, star backs NRL to break into US - NRL.COM
Cowboys fullback Valentine Holmes believes rugby league will capture American imaginations if the NRL can land a stateside broadcasting agreement.
Cowboys fullback Valentine Holmes believes rugby league will capture American imaginations if the NRL can land a Stateside broadcasting agreement. As the first contact team sport in the world set to restart after the COVID-19 pandemic put everything on hold, there has been interest from various overseas broadcasters in televising NRL matches. And Holmes, who spent 2019 chasing an NFL dream on the New York Jets' practice squad, reckons league would be a hit with US audiences based on the curiosity of his former American football teammates. "If they somehow get [NRL] televised over there, the guys at Jets were intrigued with the sport I played," Holmes said. "They all thought it was rugby union because that's all they know they know a lot about the All Blacks over there. Five key match-ups of the Cowboys' revised 2020 draw "Obviously rugby union's a worldwide sport. But it'd definitely be good to get rugby league more out there. "I'm sure they'd be intrigued in watching it. They like how physical it is. They always asked why we don't wear pads and helmets but it's something that we never really had to wear. "I'm sure if it breaks in over there it would go well. A lot of guys would put their hands up for it. Everything you need to know about the 2020 draw "It's definitely not a bad way to get it over there, [it] seems as we're the only professional [contact] sport about to start." While the COVID-19 pandemic could result in the NRL cracking new markets, for Holmes it somewhat stalled the momentum of his league comeback. The Queensland and Australian representative immersed himself in study to improve during the break. "I did a bit of video work on my laptop of the two games I played in. I wanted to do a bit of homework on that, just the way we all played in our set structures and things like that," Holmes said. "I did a bit of training outside as much as I could. Obviously we weren't allowed out of the house too much, but the Cowboys gave us weights and stretch bands and stuff like that to do as much as we could at home. "As well as that I'd go down to a park early morning just to do some fitness drills and sprints, just to keep obviously my legs moving and my fitness up as much as I could. "We couldn't really do much stuff together, so I couldn't really have anyone putting kicks up, bombs up for me. So I'd usually do that myself and then chase it." Holmes is itching to face the Titans at Queensland Country Bank Stadium next Friday, saying he was especially dirty to lose to Brisbane at the Cowboys' new home in round one given it was also his club debut. Another man keen to christen the Townsville venue with a win is veteran forward Josh McGuire, who is yet to play there having been suspended and injured to start the season. "It's a little bit disappointing that there's no fans there [due to COVID-19 regulations] but I'm excited to get to stay home and play footy here," he said. McGuire, a renowned firebrand, laughed when asked if the NRL's decision to revert back to one referee might help him get away with some niggling tactics. But he thinks the move could help him in other ways. "It will probably suit the way I like playing footy as in speeding the ruck up and a faster game," the prop said. "Hopefully [for] us smaller forwards, those big guys get a bit tired. But the way today's game is going, you can be 125 kilos and still be fit as hell."
The new NRL 2020 draw: Everything you need to know - NRL.COM
The revised fixture list for the 2020 Telstra Premiership season has been released, with a shortened 20-round season ahead of a finals series kicking off in October.
The revised fixture list for the 2020 Telstra Premiership season has been released, with a shortened 20-round season ahead of a finals series kicking off in October. The season resumes next Thursday night with the Broncos hosting Parramatta at Suncorp Stadium to kick off round three, in a round that also features a Friday night blockbuster between old rivals the Roosters and Rabbitohs and a mouth-watering Saturday night clash between Melbourne and Canberra. The venues for the opening nine rounds have been confirmed with all matches to take place at one of six grounds Bankwest Stadium, Campbelltown Stadium, Central Coast Stadium, Suncorp Stadium, Townsville's Queensland Country Bank Stadium and Melbourne's AAMI Park. The venues for future rounds will confirmed at a later date. You can download the full 2020 Premiership draw or just your team's schedule directly into your calendar with eCal. Download it now Brisbane Broncos Teams they play twice Rabbitohs, Roosters, Titans, Eels, Cowboys. Teams they play once Sea Eagles, Knights, Warriors, Bulldogs, Wests Tigers, Storm, Sharks, Raiders, Dragons, Panthers. The restart A tantalising rematch against the side that humiliated them in last year's finals, Parramatta - with home-ground advantage this time - is followed by tough games against premiers Sydney Roosters, the Sea Eagles and the unbeaten Knights. Canberra Raiders Teams they play twice Storm, Titans, Roosters, Dragons, Warriors. Teams they play once Knights, Wests Tigers, Sea Eagles, Eels, Rabbitohs, Cowboys, Panthers, Broncos, Bulldogs, Sharks. The restart It starts with a bell-ringer against the Storm - a side they'll fancy themselves against after having their measure last season - in Melbourne. That's followed by three straight Campbelltown clashes against the Knights, Wests Tigers and Sea Eagles. Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Teams they play twice Dragons, Eels, Wests Tigers, Sea Eagles, Rabbitohs. Teams they play once Cowboys, Roosters, Sharks, Broncos, Knights, Storm, Warriors, Raiders, Titans, Panthers. The restart The Dogs head up the M1 to meet Manly on the Central Coast to get things underway then play five straight games at Bankwest Stadium starting with the Dragons, Roosters and Sharks. Cronulla Sharks Teams they play twice Dragons, Titans, Panthers, Cowboys, Warriors. Teams they play once Rabbitohs, Storm, Wests Tigers, Bulldogs, Sea Eagles, Broncos, Eels, Knights, Roosters, Raiders. The restart The Sharks get underway against Wests Tigers at Bankwest before a trip to Townsville in round four then the Dragons at Campbelltown in what they will view as three winnable games. Gold Coast Titans Teams they play twice Raiders, Cowboys, Dragons, Broncos, Sharks Teams they play once Eels, Wests Tigers, Rabbitohs, Warrors, Storm, Panthers, Roosters, Bulldogs, Knights The restart The Gold Coast will play six of their first seven games in Queensland, starting with a trip north to face the Cowboys in Townsville. They then host the Tigers at Suncorp Stadium, face the Rabbitohs at Bankwest Stadium in a rare trip to Sydney and return to Brisbane for four straight matches - starting with the Dragons and the Broncos. Manly Sea Eagles Teams they play twice Eels, Knights, Storm, Bulldogs, Warriors. Teams they play once Roosters, Broncos, Raiders, Sharks, Dragons, Cowboys, Panthers, Rabbitohs, Wests Tigers, Titans. The restart Coach Des Hasler's former club the Bulldogs trek up the M1 to Manly's new Gosford base before another serious grudge match against Parra at Bankwest in round four then the Broncos back at Gosford. Melbourne Storm Teams they play twice Sea Eagles, Raiders, Rabbitohs, Knights, Roosters Teams they play once Sharks, Panthers, Warriors, Titans, Broncos, Bulldogs, Eels, Cowboys, Tigers, Dragons The restart Melbourne will kick things off with two monster games at AAMI Park, against last year's grand finalists, Canberra - who beat them in the finals at that ground last year - then Wayne Bennett's Rabbitohs. The Storm then head north to face Newcastle on the Central Coast and Penrith at Campbelltown. Newcastle Knights Teams they play twice Storm, Wests Tigers, Sea Eagles, Cowboys, Warriors. Teams they play once Panthers, Raiders, Broncos, Eels, Rabbitohs, Bulldogs, Sharks, Roosters, Dragons, Titans. The restart Back-to-back Campbelltown games against the Panthers and Raiders provides a stern but not insurmountable challenge to kick off, followed by two "home" games at Gosford against the Storm and Broncos. North Queensland Cowboys Teams they play twice Titans, Knights, Sharks, Panthers, Broncos. Teams they play once Bulldogs, Warriors, Wests Tigers, Eels, Roosters, Sea Eagles, Raiders, Rabbitohs, Dragons, Storm. The restart A travel-friendly resumption awaits with two home games at the new Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville against the Titans and Sharks before the Warriors at Gosford, Wests Tigers at Campbelltown and back home for the Knights. Parramatta Eels Teams they play twice Sea Eagles, Bulldogs, Panthers, Broncos, Wests Tigers. Teams they play once Titans, Roosters, Raiders, Cowboys, Knights, Sharks, Dragons, Storm, Rabbitohs, Warriors. The restart It starts with a trip to Brisbane for a rematch against the side they pumped 58-0 in last year's finals before a run of five straight Bankwest games, starting with two serious rivalry games against Manly and Penrith. Penrith Panthers Teams they play twice Warriors, Sharks, Wests Tigers, Eels, Cowboys. Teams they play once Roosters, Dragons, Knights, Storm, Rabbitohs, Titans, Sea Eagles, Raiders, Broncos, Bulldogs. The restart From the round-three restart through to round nine (as far as venues have been confirmed), the Panthers don't leave western Sydney with five games at Campbelltown and two at Bankwest. They start off against the Knights and Warriors before stiffer match-ups against the Eels, Storm and Rabbitohs. South Sydney Rabbitohs Teams they play twice Broncos, Storm, Wests Tigers, Bulldogs, Roosters. Teams they play once Sharks, Titans, Warriors, Panthers, Knights, Raiders, Dragons, Cowboys, Sea Eagles, Eels. The restart A mouth-watering clash against old rivals the Roosters gets things back underway, with star signing Latrell Mitchell up against his former club. A trip to Melbourne the following week makes for a massive one-two punch before things ease back a touch with the Titans and Warriors at Bankwest. St George Illawarra Dragons Teams they play twice Bulldogs, Sharks, Roosters, Titans, Raiders. Teams they play once Wests Tigers, Panthers, Warriors, Sea Eagles, Rabbitohs, Eels, Broncos, Cowboys, Knights, Storm. The restart Paul McGregor's men get eased in (as much as that's possible) with three of four games upon resumption against bottom-eight sides from last year, starting with the Warriors at Gosford and Bulldogs at Bankwest. Sydney Roosters Teams they play twice Dragons, Storm, Broncos, Raiders, Rabbitohs. Teams they play once Panthers, Sea Eagles, Bulldogs, Eels, Cowboys, Warriors, Titans, Wests Tigers, Knights, Sharks. The restart A mouth-watering clash against old rivals the Rabbitohs to kick things off, with former favourite son Latrell Mitchell to face his old club at Bankwest. Another big game against the Broncos at Suncorp follows that before the Dogs, Eels and Dragons - all at Bankwest. Warriors Teams they play twice Knights, Raiders, Panthers, Sharks, Sea Eagles Teams they play once Dragons, Cowboys, Rabbitohs, Storm, Broncos, Titans, Roosters, Wests Tigers, Bulldogs, Eels The restart The Warriors kick off life at their new temporary home of Central Coast Stadium next Saturday against the Dragons, before taking on Penrith at Campbelltown, returning to Gosford to host the Cowboys and a trip to Bankwest Stadium to face South Sydney. Wests Tigers Teams they play twice Knights, Bulldogs, Panthers, Rabbitohs, Eels Teams they play once Dragons, Sharks, Titans, Raiders, Cowboys, Broncos, Warriors, Roosters, Sea Eagles, Storm The restart The Tigers are back in action at Bankwest Stadium against Cronulla before a trip to Suncorp to take on the Titans, followed by back-to-back home games at Campbelltown Stadium against the Raiders and Cowboys. They only beat two of those opponents last season (Gold Coast and North Queensland) so it's a tricky month coming up.
NRL 2020 draw: Round three kick-off, Competitio relaunches after COVID-19 pandemic - NRL.COM
Bitter modern-day rivalries, another chapter of the book of feuds and the chance for revenge on four fronts headline the next two rounds of the 2020 Telstra Premiership season.
Bitter modern-day rivalries, another chapter of the book of feuds and the chance for revenge on four fronts headline the next two rounds of the 2020 Telstra Premiership season. After two months of uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the next two rounds of the NRL season were announced on Friday with a focus around starting with a bang in a treat for players, fans and broadcasters across the game. Brisbane's first opportunity to exact revenge for their 58-0 loss to the Eels in last year's finals series will arrive in a fortnight with the mouth-watering clash to showcase the restart of the 2020 season. The Broncos will host the Eels on Thursday, May 28, at a venue in Queensland after the state government approved travel across its borders earlier this month. The clash will be followed on Friday by an all-Queensland derby between the Cowboys and Titans before Latrell Mitchell lines up against the Sydney Roosters in a match almost two months in the making. South Sydney and the premiers were due to meet in round three in March in the original draw and will now resume hostilities against their bitter rivals. On Saturday, May 30, the Warriors - who have relocated to NSW due to Trans-Tasman travel restrictions - clash against the Dragons. The fixture will mark veteran hooker Issac Luke's first game against his former teammates. Cronulla and Wests Tigers will face off in a grudge match after the Sharks ended the joint venture's playoff hopes in the final round of the regular season last year. Melbourne meet 2019 grand finalists Canberra, who came from behind in the finals to beat the Storm in week one on their way to the big dance. Unbeaten sides Penrith and Newcastle will clash on Sunday afternoon, followed by Manly and Canterbury. The Panthers-Knights clash will be a mixed one for both clubs with NSW star Nathan Cleary, who tallied a club record 34 points against the Knights last start, missing through NRL-imposed suspension, while Kalyn Ponga will serve a week for a shoulder charge incident in round two. Venues are yet to be allocated for each game, however, it is confirmed matches will be held across NSW and Queensland. A "home" team will be given for each match with no double headers or venue clashes expected on each game day. Where the Broncos, Cowboys or Titans are listed as the home team for a match, the game will be played at a venue in Queensland, with the remaining games for that round played in NSW. The Warriors' home fixtures will be played at venues in NSW with the NRL looking to finalise the exact locations once all biosecurity protocols and measures are in place during the next 24-48 hours. In round four, the NRL has locked in the annual Queen's Birthday clash between the Dragons and Bulldogs on Monday, June 8. The Broncos will open the round with a clash against the Roosters at a venue in Queensland. Round four will feature three matches played in Queensland with the Broncos, Cowboys and Titans all hosting clubs from NSW. Round 3: Thursday 7.50pm Broncos vs Eels, Friday 6.00pm Cowboys vs Titans, Friday 7.55pm Roosters vs Rabbitohs, Saturday 3.00pm Warriors vs Dragons, Saturday 5.30pm Sharks vs Tigers, Saturday 7.35pm Storm vs Raiders, Sunday 4.05pm Panthers vs Knights, Sunday 6.30pm Sea Eagles vs Bulldogs. Round 4: Thursday 7.50pm Broncos vs Roosters, Friday 6.00pm Panthers vs Warriors, Friday 7.55pm Storm vs Rabbitohs, Saturday 5.30pm Eels vs Sea Eagles, Saturday 7.35pm Cowboys vs Sharks, Sunday 4.05pm Raiders vs Knights, Sunday 6.30pm Titans vs Tigers, Monday 4.05pm (Queens Birthday) Bulldogs vs Dragons.