The oldest premier Rugby competition in Australia returns this weekend with the Shute Shield to kick off with a Grand Final rematch between Warringah and Sydney University at Rat Park and will be broadcasted LIVE nationally on 7TWO and 7plus.
Penrith Emus and Newcastle Wildfires re-join the competition this year with the now 13 teams to battle it out over 13 rounds before semi-finals, an elimination final and a grand final on October 31.
Fans will be able to watch the match of the round throughout NSW LIVE on 7TWO and across Australia on 7plus and there will be some limited access for crowds to enter the grounds, under strict bio-security protocols and based on medical advice due to COVID-19.
With a new Shute Shield season comes a new 7Sport on-air commentary team with the competitions biggest line up to date. Joining Tony Lewis in the callers box will be Sean Maloney and Louise Ransome, along with former Shute Shield champion and Scotland international Daniel Parks and Olympic Gold Medallist, and former Australian Sevens and Wallaroos Captain, Shannon Parry.
NSW Rugby CEO Paul Doorn said: “It’s fantastic to be able to get the Shute Shield back up again this weekend and I know our clubs, players, coaches and most importantly our fans have been really looking forward to getting back on the park.
“We will see rivalries return with Penrith and Newcastle re-joining the fold as we continue to see the strong club tribalism that makes our competition so special.
“To have the competition continue to be broadcast with a match of the round LIVE on 7 Mate, allows us to service our existing fans across the state and create new ones as we march through season 2020.
“On behalf of NSW Rugby I would like to thank our sponsors, volunteers and supporters for their patience as we worked through the challenges of this season and encourage everyone to support their team and watch the live broadcasts of Shute Shield 2020.”
Sydney Rugby Union President, Phillip Parsons said: “It goes without saying that re-commencing this year’s season has not been without its challenges.
“I’d like to thank all of those who have been involved in what’s been a huge effort to get the season started this Saturday.
“Sydney Premier Rugby gives meaning to so many people across our districts and it’s vital we work together to keep it operating during these times – social distancing is critical and everyone can help.
“Be sure to follow the bio-security protocols in place when attending games to assist us all in remaining COVID safe, if you don’t feel well please stay home and ensure you get tested.
“This Saturday we will once again create fabulous memories for players, spectators and everybody involved in this fantastic competition – making the all hard work over the last three months well and truly worth it.
“Thank you to all the fabulous sponsors and members, without your contribution this season might have looked very different.
“Be sure to get behind your clubs, buy your game day tickets online and enjoy the wonderful moments and memories our 2020 season will bring.”
The 2020 Shute Shield Season Launch will be LIVE streamed this Friday evening on Shute Shield Facebook page from 5pm AEST, with exclusive interviews for our revamped commentary team, with last year’s grand final coaches and returning Club coaches from Penrith and Newcastle.
Shute Shield 2020 Round One Match of the Round
Warringah v Sydney University - Match of the round LIVE nationally on 7TWO and 7plus.
Other Shute Shield Round One Matches
Gordon v Eastern Suburbs
Southern Districts v Eastwood
Manly v Two Blues
West Harbour v Northern Suburbs
Randwick v Newcastle
Warringah v Sydney University*
New 7Sport on-air team for the 2020 season
Tony Lewis – commentator
Affectionately known as the voice of club rugby, Tony will continue his long association with the Shute Shield.
Sean Maloney – commentator
A former professional in Europe and captain of Manly in the Shute Shield, the competition is in Sean’s blood. Sean is a fixture on the world rugby broadcast scene, calling matches at the 2019 World Cup and hosting the World Sevens Series.
Louise Ransome – sideline reporter
An experienced sports broadcaster and journalist, Lou will be running the sidelines this season in the Shute Shield. Lou has reported on rugby at all levels of the game, from hosting Wallabies matches to her new role as anchor of The Aussie Rugby Show.
Dan Parks – expert comments
Born and raised in Sydney, Dan went on to play 67 tests for Scotland thanks to his Grandfather’s heritage. The fly-half scored 266 international points, including 17 drop-goals - a Scottish record. Dan’s also a legend in club rugby, playing at Souths, Easts and Wests and winning multiple scoring titles.
Shannon Parry – expert comments
Shannon is a Wallaroos captain, Sevens player and gold medal Olympian. She will likely be the Sevens captain at the next Summer Olympics, and is also a rising star in the TV world in her spare time.