2018 NRL Touch Premiership


Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus
Staff member
Six NRL Touch Premiership clubs revealed

Thu 26 Apr 2018, 12:46 PM

The Parramatta Eels, Wests Tigers, Newcastle Knights, Gold Coast Titans, Brisbane Broncos and North Queensland Cowboys will field teams in a new NRL Touch Premiership to be played this year.

Each club will have two teams – a women's and men's – playing in the tournament adding up to 12 NRL Touch teams in total.

Both men's and women's games will be 30 minutes in length and will be played prior to the main Telstra Premiership game, starting on Friday May 18. The touch games will be broadcast nationally, in a mix of live and delayed times.

"We're grateful for the support these clubs are giving the teams and the Premiership, and we believe it will be exciting for young touch players in these clubs' regions to see the sports come together and to realise that they can aspire to play either elite rugby league or elite touch football," Touch Football Australia CEO Steve Mitchell said.

"These players, both male and female, have been playing touch football non-stop since they were five or so, and the speed, the agility and the skill level is just phenomenal.

"Touch football is Australia's largest social sport, so it's not generally considered a spectator sport, but everyone who gets the chance to witness the elite level of the game is in awe of how entertaining it is to watch.

"We've seen so many touch football players – from Benji Marshall to Kalyn Ponga, Bevan French, Matt Dufty and Maddie Studdon, for instance – move from touch football into the NRL. So we're excited about giving our touch players a tournament that allows them to showcase their skills in this sport on a national stage."

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TFA launches NRL Touch Premiership

There are currently almost 4,000 touch football players within the Parramatta catchment, and Eels CEO Bernie Gurr said it was great to give players a tournament to showcase their talent.

"As a club we are a strong supporter of touch football both as a contributor to the development of our players, such as Bevan French, and as an important avenue for our members and fans to stay involved in rugby league."

Knights CEO Philip Gardner said touch players now had the opportunity to play at McDonald Jones Stadium in front of red and blue supporters.

"We are proud to be part of the inaugural Touch Premiership," Gardner said.

"Touch is a very important pathway into rugby league, and we believe the more people we can encourage to play touch or rugby league in the region the better."

Cowboys legend and Touch Football Australia board member Brent Tate said it was a massive coup for the Townsville region to have sides included in the inaugural competition.

"Touch football is a hugely popular sport in our region so I am thrilled we will have a presence in the first ever edition of the NRL Touch Premiership," Tate said.

"This competition is a fantastic innovation, which will help grow the game of touch football not just in North Queensland, but nationwide."



Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus
Staff member
Knights join national touch football competition

Newcastle Knights
Thu 26 Apr 2018, 12:37 PM

The nib Newcastle Knights are delighted to be one of six NRL clubs to take part in the inaugural NRL Touch Premiership, with the first game taking place before Round 16's clash against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs on Saturday, June 30.

On Thursday, Touch Football Australia (TFA) CEO Steve Mitchell and NRL CEO Todd Greenberg announced that a brand new NRL Touch Premiership will commence this year, whereby elite touch football teams aligned with NRL clubs will play touch football games as curtain raisers to NRL games.

The Newcastle Knights touch side is a representative side for the region and will offer elite touch players the opportunity to play at McDonald Jones Stadium in front of red and blue supporters.

"We are proud to be part of the inaugural Touch Premiership," said Knights CEO Philip Gardner.

"Touch is a very important pathway into rugby league, and we believe the more people we can encourage to play touch or rugby league in the region the better.

"It's remarkable to see female participation is almost on par with the men in touch football, and it's great to see in local leagues, the sport can be mixed-gender where brothers and sisters, mums and dads, and everyone can play in the same team.

"Kalyn Ponga and Aidan Guerra came up through touch, and we're witnessing first-hand the superb attributes and skills it can develop.

"Touch is a fantastic spectator sport and I'm sure our crowd will enjoy watching the games."

TFA CEO's Steve Mitchell is excited about having a Knights team in the mix.

"We look forward to showcasing the Knights touch talent in front of a home crowd at McDonald Jones Stadium for Round 16," Mitchell said.

"Newcastle is becoming Australia's home of international touch football – the city will also host our next Trans-Tasman Test Series, in 2020 and 2022."

The Knights will field both a men's and women's side, with each game lasting 30 minutes.

As well as the Knights, the Wests Tigers, Parramatta Eels, Brisbane Broncos, Gold Coast Titans and North Queensland Cowboys will make up the competition, which will comprise of two games per team, and a finals series.

Touch games will be broadcast nationally, as a mix of live and delayed broadcasts.



Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus
League needs to take ownership of touch.
It is played in a lot of countries, like America, and Union claims it as a form of their code, and even counts touch players as participants when applying for government funds.


Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus
Staff member
Knights elite NRL Touch Premiership squad announced




Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus
Staff member
Brothers make history in Knights NRL Touch team

Newcastle Knights
Tue 19 Jun 2018, 12:50 PM

The Langbridge brothers love their rugby league and touch football.

Through a history-making opportunity, Alex and Daniel get to live out a dream and wear the mighty red and blue of the Knights after NRL Touch and several NRL clubs teamed up for the inaugural NRL Touch Premiership.

The newly formed Knights touch sides are gearing up for their debut next week and the brothers are both in the team.

"It's extremely exciting. I'm from the Central Coast and grown up supporting the Newcastle Knights," Alex Langbridge said.

"It's a massive honour (to wear these colours). It's pretty awesome."

Daniel added; "it's a massive honour."

"I'm pretty pumped for it and I'm sure the rest of the boys are."

Sixteen men and women will be part of the Knights representative sides and will play their first game before Round 16's clash against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs on Saturday, June 30.

The Knights side is made up of players from around the country region and even stretches as far as outside Sydney.

"This side is the former Country Mavericks side," Alex said.

"We've got guys from Wollongong, as far down as Wagga, blokes coming from Taree, Central Coast and Newcastle.

"We've already played a tournament, so we have those combinations.

"We've started training and adding onto that."

Daniel, who plays league for the Wyong Roos credits touch for keeping his playmaking skills crisp.

"It's more my decision making," Daniel said of how playing touch has helped lift his skills in league.

"There's a lot of three on two opportunities and because of touch, I've been able to master it pretty easily when I play rugby league so it helps out a lot."

With the skills being transferable, Alex has found playing touch football has aided his transition to playing rugby league.

"The stepping and the passing and the way you read the game," he said.

"In touch football, there's not as much time so you have to be a lot sharper.

"When you come into rugby league, you've got a lot more time and it's a little bit slower so that certainly helps.

The inaugural premiership, which is affiliated with six NRL teams, will consist of six rounds plus a final, and Queensland and NSW teams will compete against each other in separate pools, with winners progressing to the premiership final.

Touch games will be broadcast nationally, as a mix of live and delayed broadcasts, with each game lasting 30 minutes.

"There will be a few boys in the side who will be a bit nervous," Alex said.

"It's going to be a different atmosphere but it's going to be extremely exciting."



Adam MacDougall
Should at least give us something to watch before NRL games when they can't get a lower grade game on.


Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus
Staff member
Saturday June 30 – NRL Touch Premiership versus Eels

Touch kick-off: 3:10pm
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium

Men's Knights

1 Luke Tonegato, 2 Matthew Tope, 4 Lincoln Little, 5 Daniel Langbridge, 6 Jack Edwards, 7 Dylan Thompson, 8 Alex Langbridge, 9 Bart Hill, 10 Matthew Prowse, 11 Jake Fitzpatrick, 14 Scott Bundy, 15 Tom Dafter, 16 Mitchell Wilton

Women's Knights

2 Jessica Potts, 3 Emily Hennessey, 4 Rhiannon Podmore, 5 Madison Crowe, 6 Ainsley Hughes, 8 Sian Filipo, 10 Amy Regal, 11 Elise Wilson, 12 Lily Goodchild, 13 Amy Dufour, 14 Sophie Broadhead, 15 Rachel Jeffs, 16 Taryn Love



Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus
Staff member
Knights territory home of international touch football

Newcastle Knights
Sat 30 Jun 2018, 04:11 PM

Newcastle will become the international home of touch football in Australia, with the sport's Trans-Tasman series set to be held in the city in 2020 and 2022.

The major announcement on Saturday is part of a partnership between the Federal Government, Newcastle City Council, NRL Touch and the nib Newcastle Knights and will see three separate events hosted in Newcastle.

In a traditional rival, Australia and New Zealand will go head-to-head across the three Opens – men's, women's and mixed divisions in 2020 and again in 2022.

In an added coup, the 2020 Youth Trans-Tasman event will also be held in Newcastle, featuring the best under 18 and under 20s athletes across boys, girls and mixed divisions.

Outside of the Touch World Cup, the Trans-Tasman series is considered the pinnacle of international touch football and will attract over 3,000 visitors to the region.

Touch Football Australia (TFA) CEO Steve Mitchell said the Trans-Tasman series will be a fantastic opportunity to showcase elite touch football to the community and provide economic benefits and international exposure to the region.

"This will be the first visit to Newcastle for many participants and their families, which will no doubt leave a lasting impression on them, as will the images of the region being beamed around the world as part of the livestream coverage," said Mitchell.

"It will also provide the local community the chance to witness the skill of elite touch footballers and catch a glimpse of the next Kalyn Ponga or Shaun Johnson, both of whom have previously represented their country at this very event."

Knights CEO Philip Gardner said it will be a fantastic event for all Knights fans to enjoy and get behind.

"The Knights are proud to be part of these events and urge all Novocastrians to show their support, as Newcastle continues to show that it is one of the leading sporting hubs of Australia," said Gardner.

"It has been shown through players such as Kalyn Ponga and Aidan Guerra, that touch football can be a great pathway to rugby league as it requires similar skills in agility, speed and passing.

"The event will not only promote Newcastle internationally, with a live stream broadcast estimated to reach 3.1 million but will highlight the home of the Knights to an international audience, which will be a great boost to the town and the Club."

The announcement comes on the back of the Knights being one of six foundation clubs in the inaugural NRL Touch Premiership and a recent strategic participation MOU implemented between the Knights and five local touch football competitions to grow the game of Rugby League more broadly in the region.