Thunderbolts 2019 draw released

The U18 Victoria Thunderbolts will play five home games in Melbourne during this year's S.G Ball Cup.

The 2019 fixture was released this week, with the Thunderbolts set to play four standalone games at Casey Fields this season.

A round 9 double header at Haines Drive Reserve in Wyndham Vale will feature the U18s game between the Thunderbolts and Western Suburbs Magpies and the U20s Thunderbolts clash with Wests Tigers.

The young Victorian side have two away trips to Sydney, where they will face the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs and Parramatta Eels, as well as one trip across the Nullarbor to take on the West Coast Pirates in Perth.

In the eight-game draw the Thunderbolts will play three teams who contested the finals series in 2018.

Head Coach Janan Billings said after a "long and gruelling" pre-season, the boys were well prepared for the season opener against Manly Sea Eagles at home on February 9.

"The boys have really come together," Billings said. "A camp last weekend, followed by a pre-season trial in Albury has prepared the team well for the hard season ahead."

"It is exciting for the Thunderbolts players and staff to be competing in the S.G Ball competition and everyone can't wait for it all to begin next weekend against Manly."

After four seasons in QRL competitions the club has transitioned back to the NSWRL.

"We are excited to be back in NSW playing in the S.G Ball competition," NRL Victoria pathways manager Ryan Walker said. "Last time we played in a NSW comp in 2014 as the Melbourne Storm we played finals and now as the Victoria Thunderbolts we want to aim for finals footy again."

"All the players and coaching staff have worked very hard over the last 12 weeks and now the focus is on Manly in round one where we hope to get a big crowd down to Casey Fields."

Full draw: msr.lc/SGBallCup