The U20 Victoria Thunderbolts will travel to Canberra next month to kick-off the club’s first season in the NSWRL Jersey Flegg Cup.
The U20s side has transferred to the NSWRL major competition after a promising fourth-place finish in the club’s inaugural year in the QRL Hastings Deering Colts competition in 2018.
The Victoria Thunderbolts will take on the Canberra Raiders at GIO Stadium on Friday March 22 as a curtain raiser to the Storm v Raiders NRL game.
The Thunderbolts will play 10 games at home in 2019, including two NRL curtain raisers at AAMI Park against the Manly Sea Eagles in Round 19 and Canberra Raiders in Round 22.
The Thunderbolts will also play two home games on Gosch’s Paddock – against the Sydney Roosters on Good Friday and against the North Sydney Bears in round 14.
The Good Friday game will be played at 3.30pm before the Storm v Roosters NRL game later that night, while the Bears clash will be played at 12.30pm ahead of the Storm v Knights game at 3pm.
The remaining six home games will be split between NRL Victoria Junior Rugby League grounds – Casey Fields in Cranbourne and Haines Drive Reserve in Wyndham Vale.
Of the Thunderbolts 10 away games, five will be played before NRL matches, including four Storm away games – Raiders at GIO Stadium, Sharks at Shark Park, Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium and Rabbitohs at Central Coast Stadium.
“We can’t wait until the season starts – to be able to showcase the Thunderbolts to the Jersey Flegg Cup is a huge honour,” Head Coach Ben Jack said.
“Having seven curtain raisers to NRL games is something we are really looking forward to.
"Being able to play at prestigious grounds such as North Sydney Oval, Leichhardt Oval and Belmore Oval is a privilege in itself.”
2019 marks the second season since the Jersey Flegg Cup returned to the NSWRL calendar, replacing the NRL U20s National Youth Competition.
Jersey Flegg Cup games will be played over two 35-minute halves, in line with the NSWRL's U18s S.G Ball Cup competition.
It will run for 24 rounds with the Grand Final to be played on Sunday September 29.
The competition is named after Harry “Jersey” Flegg, who played for the Eastern Suburbs in 1908 and 1909 and was a prominent administrator of the game up until 1960.