Revamped SAS Fox Memorial Premiership launched
The new-look SAS Fox Memorial Premiership was launched on Wednesday night in Auckland, ahead of the qualifying rounds kicking off early next month.
Held at the home of the newly-promoted Bay Roskill Vikings, the event was attended by representatives of every first division club.
The Fox Memorial Premiership increases from 10 teams to 12 in 2019, with the bottom four sides at the end of the 11-week qualifying series being relegated down to the Crown Lift Trucks Fox Championship, and the remaining eight staying to fight for the first division title.
The first game of the season on Friday, April 5 will be a Grand Final rematch between Pt Chevalier and Glenora – with the Stormont Shield also on the line – and will be played as the curtain-raiser to the New Zealand Warriors v Gold Coast Titans NRL match at Mount Smart Stadium.
Pt Chevalier captain Sioeli Makaui said he is a fan of the new structure and can’t wait to take the field in the season-opener.
“I have spoken to lots of the boys about [the new structure] and I love it. I think it closes the gap between the first division clubs and those second division sides trying to come up,” Makaui said.
“That round one game for us is going to be tough, it will be a nail-biter and come down to who wants it most.
“It’s going to be good and hopefully we get lots of supporters out there for both sides.”
Under the new Premiership structure, each team will play each other once in the Fox Memorial Premiership Qualifiers before splitting. Click here for a full explanation of the new format.