A form of Rugby League that produced superstars like Benji Marshall and Shaun Johnson will get a massive boost after an agreement between its governing body and the NR that will see Touch Football Australia (TFA) introduce an NRL Touch Premiership, with games to be played as curtain-raisers to NRL games from Round 11 of this year’s competition on Friday 18th May 2018.
Australian NRL Touch Football male and female players, who currently play in elite-level domestic and international competitions, will be selected for teams that will align with six NRL clubs in New South Wales and Queensland.
Two 30-minute games – a Men’s game and a Women’s game – will be played ahead of the main NRL event for seven rounds in total.
The games will be broadcast nationally through a mix of live and delayed broadcasts.
TFA CEO Steve Mitchell is delighted to be able to showcase elite touch football to a broader audience in this, the 50th year of the sport, which was created out of Rugby League in 1968.
“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,” said Mitchell.
“These players, both male and female, have been playing the sport since they were five or so, and the speed, the agility and the skill level are just phenomenal.
“We’ve seen so many touch football players move into the NRL – Benji Marshall, Kalyn Ponga, Valentine Holmes, Maddie Studdon and Ali Brigginshaw, for instance. 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.”