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ARL release Sharman Cup draw for 2018

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Auckland Rugby League have today released the Crown Lift Trucks Sharman Cup draw for 2018, with 16 clubs set to face-off for the title and promotion to first division for the following year.

The regular season gets underway on Saturday April 21, with all teams to play each other once across 15 rounds before splitting into a top 8 Premiership and bottom 4 Championship. Teams who finish outside the top 12 will be eliminated.

After falling just short of survival in the SAS Fox Memorial Premiership this year, the Te Atatu Roosters return to the competition alongside the Mt Wellington Warriors and Glenfield Greyhounds, with the trio joining the ARL’s newest club the Franklin Storm, a side comprising of players from the Tuakau, Waiuku and Pukekohe clubs.

ARL general manager Greg Whaiapu views the formation of the Storm as a major plus for 2018.

"It’s great to have a presence from clubs further south of Auckland," he said.

"Seeing those clubs come together can only be good for the game in the area and it’s a great opportunity for any players interested in playing at Premiership level."

The opening round will see 2017 Sharman Cup runners-up the Bay Roskill Vikings take on the Ellerslie Eagles, who have coach Wade Brundson returning after he took the club to the major semi-finals in 2016, while second division heavyweights Otara and Ponsonby will face off.

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