The NRL 2016 Season

The National Rugby League (NRL) season of 2016 is the 109th for professional Australian Rugby and the 19th for the NRL itself. The pre-season starts with the Auckland Nines in Eden Park, New Zealand. All 16 of the NRL 2016 clubs contest this trophy, and send at least 12 of their top 25 players and at least 1 marquee player. This will be followed by the Rugby League All Stars Match and the World Club Series.

The All Stars Match is a representative exhibition between the Indigenous All Stars, representing Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal Australians, and the World All Stars, made up of NRL players. The World Club Series puts 3 Super League teams and 3 NRL teams go head to head, and includes the World Cup Challenge which is a one-off match between the champions of both Leagues. For 2016, it will be contested by the Leeds Rhinos and the North Queensland Cowboys. These early games are always a good indication of what performances should be like in the premiership, and fans watch it with interest. After the pre-season, general excitement is raised and the stage is set for the play-offs.

NRL 2016

For the third year in a row, Robbie Williams’ Let me Entertain You will be the season’s commercial soundtrack. The team line-up will be the same as it has been for the previous 9 years, and includes the Gold Coast Titans for the 10th year. The squads are listed below:

  • Brisbane Bronco
  • Canberra Riders
  • Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs
  • Cronulla Sutherland Sharks
  • Gold Coast Titans
  • Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
  • Melbourne Storm
  • Newcastle Knights
  • New Zealand Warriors
  • North Queensland Cowboys
  • Parramatta Eels
  • South Sydney Rabbitohs
  • St George Illawarra Dragons
  • Sydney Roosters
  • West Tigers

There are usually several coach and player transfers in the NRL season, and 2016 is no exception. Many adjustments have been made to each participating team, and the specifics are easily looked up online. In terms of coaches, Rick Stone has left the Newcastle Knights and been replaced by Nathan Brown and Danny Buderus, while Trent Barret has moved from the Penrith Panthers to the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles and replaced Geoff Toovey. With Ivan Cleary also leaving the Panthers, a new coach is sorely needed These changes should be monitored closely, along with player performances, injuries and ladder placements, for anyone who is thinking about putting money down on the games or who just enjoys speculating about their outcomes.

The NRL 2016 Grand Final

After a full season of world-class Rugby, the culmination of the NRL 2016 season will be the Grand Final which will take place in Sydney’s Stadium Australia as it has done every year. As always there will be an exciting opening ceremony, complete with top performers and the singing of the national anthem. The impressive NRL trophy and individual premiership rings will be awarded to the winning team, and the Clive Churchill Medal will be presented to the Man of the Match as well. Several other events such as the traditional Grand Final Breakfast in the week before will make the event feel even more special. The Final is the undisputed highlight in the NRL calendar, and every fan will be watching, listening or taking part in it, in whichever way they can.