There’s not long to wait now until the 2009 season gets underway, however early in the New Year – NRL trials will help whet the appetite for fans who just can’t wait. While the full list of trial matches is yet to be confirmed and finalized, each NRL team have given a guide to their early season trial campaigns.
The Bunnies and Wests have been locked in to play the first official NRL trial match of the year on February 8 at Redfern Oval.
And the most talked about and traditional pre-season game is the Charity Shield with the Rabbitohs and the Dragons, set to fire up on February 28.
At the same time on the Central Coast, the Eels and Sydney Roosters will square off at Bluetongue Stadium and also on the same night, the Cowboys and Penrith in Cairns and the Knights against Cronulla in Cessnock.
Melbourne will start the new year with a trans-Tasman excursion, when they take on the Warriors at Waikato Stadium on February 12.
The Cowboys will also go overseas to prime themselves for 2009, meeting with New Zealand on February 22 in Auckland.
Manly are set for a world-wide pre-season tour, with matches around the globe. The Sea Eagles will make a special appearance in the UK and play the London Broncos on February 22 in an exhibition match at The Stoop before their World Club Challenge match against Leeds on March 1.
The Foundation Cup between the Roosters and Wests Tigers will be played on February 22. The Tigers are also due to head north on February 28 to face the Titans in Lismore â€“ a match that should prove to be an interesting encounter for hooker Robbie Farah.