2019 Season Draw Review with Blake Solly
The 2019 draw is out and the countdown is on to another big year of footy in 2019.
Last week's release of next year's draw sees the South Sydney Rabbitohs travel far and wide across 25 rounds, playing a host of epic matches across the country and in the process, renew a range of rivalries from 2018.
In case there were somethings that you may have missed at first glance, we've got you covered with all you need to know and what to look out for in the upcoming season.
Add the draw to your calendar right here!
CHARITY SHIELD STARTS A RURAL TREND
Last year's Charity Shield success means we'll be heading back down to Mudgee to take on the St George Illawarra Dragons for what will be the last warm-up before the start of the 2019 NRL season.
Rabbitohs beat Dragons 22-18 in Mudgee
The unofficial start to the season may be labelled as a trial match but it's still an excellent opportunity for those barracking for the men in Red and Green to catch them before their Round 1 hit out.
In 2018 the Charity Shield was a sell out down in the quaint country town of Mudgee. The awesome turnout meant that there was no point beating around the bush on this one as both clubs made the call to return in 2019.
BY THE NUMBERS
BACK TO HOW IT USED TO BE
The NRL season couldn't start off with a bigger bang as the game's two oldest foes, the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Sydney Roosters battle it out at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Round 1.
It has been 26 years since the two clubs have jousted on the hallowed turf of the SCG, where we triumphed over the tri-colours 38-20.
It's a fitting start for both sides, as the reigning Premiers will be looking to continue their winning ways. The Rabbitohs will have a fire in their belly following last year's preliminary final exit at the hands of the Roosters. This is more than a Round one matchup. This is revenge.
It's fantastic the NRL has brought back the Roosters to kick off the season and to bookend the season at the other end the year, we were average 30000 plus when we kicked off the season and when we finished the season in Round 25 so that should be really well received.Shannon Donato South Sydney Rabbitohs Chief Commercial Officer
The game will certainly draw a lot of interest and will surely attract a large crowd at the SCG which is bound to be in South Sydney's favour.
The season will finish the way it started when we host the Roosters in Round 25 at ANZ Stadium. A game which could potentially have major ramifications of the makeup of the top 8.
GOOD FRIDAY FESTIVITIES CONTINUE
Forget that Easter Weekend camping trip and set up camp at ANZ Stadium this Good Friday when the Bulldogs rivalry rolls on.
Since moving this matchup to the Easter long weekend, supporters of both clubs have been treated to many classic encounters including last year's clash where Cameron Murray's last-gasp try produced the goods in front of 30,000 spectators.
Match action - Rabbitohs v Bulldogs
It must be noted that this match will have reciprocal access, meaning that despite this game being an away match for the Red and Green, Rabbitohs Members will have reciprocal rights.
SOUHTS RETURN TO CENTRAL COAST
Match action - Rabbitohs v Raiders
It's our biggest Membership area outside of Sydney so it only seems fair that we return to New South Wales' Central Coast in Round 21 and give the people what they deserve. A high-quality match against last year's runners-up, the Melbourne Storm.
Last season the Rabbitohs treated those who turned up to Central Coast Stadium with an attacking football clinic, as they romped home to an impressive 42-22 victory over the Canberra Raiders. The squad will look to repeat those heroics yet again against one the game's most successful outfits.
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AN NRL FIRST
Souths will be surfing it up next season when they hit Queensland's Sunshine Coast for the first time in NRL history.
Rabbitohs' Queensland based Members and supporters are set to be treated to a great game of football when the Red and Green host the New Zealand Warriors at Sunshine Coast Stadium in Round 5.
It's a move which South Sydney Rabbitohs Club CEO Blake Solly says is a fantastic opportunity.
"We've been talking to the Sunshine Coast for about 18 months now about the prospect of playing the first NRL competition game there, they've been wonderful partners to deal with and we're really excited about it," said Mr Solly
"The genesis of that is we've got 3000 Members in Queensland and already and we've got probably another 6000 people in South East Queensland who are Souths fans and have said they're more likely to become Members if we play more games there.
"We know that South East Queensland is a huge opportunity for us, the Sunshine Coast is a wonderful place to go and it's a great stadium at Kawana."
Queensland Members will get another bite of the apple when the Rabbitohs lock horns with the North Queensland Cowboys in the first ever Magic Round Weekend at Suncorp Stadium.
Magic Round was first originated in the English Super League back in 2007 and has been a major hit.
In 2019 the NRL will officially mark the start of the Magic Round on Australian shores.
There is plenty of other great matchups throughout the season that will feed your red and green cravings in 2019.
Early on in the season, the South Sydney side will be travelling up the Spit for a traditional Rugby League grudge match, taking on the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles at Lottoland.
The last time the Rabbitohs hit up the Northern Beaches they walked away with an impressive 38-18 win, and there is no doubt the men in Cardinal and Myrtle will be looking for the same result.
Further down the track, the Rabbitohs will play the Michael McGuire lead Wests Tigers at our home of ANZ Stadium. The return match will become a mark of history as the club plays at the new Western Sydney Stadium for the second time that season in Round 15.
The first opportunity for Members and supporters to see their team at Western Sydney Stadium will come in Round 12 against the Parramatta Eels.
Remember you can have the Rabbitohs 2019 draw on your mobile calendar, get it right here!