While the draw for the 2015 season will be officially announced later today, the Sharks have received a handful of ‘official’ NRL tip offs as to a couple of the match ups scheduled, along with a significant development certain to bolster the clubs commercial prospects.
Firstly it was revealed last week that the Sharks would host the Canberra Raiders in round one, in a match set down for a Sunday afternoon 6.30pm kick off.
Old mates Shane Flanagan v Ricky Stuart square off from their respective coaches boxes, in a match the Sharks will be keen to start their season on a winning note in a bid to put their struggles of 2014 well and truly behind them.
Then last night came the news that in round two the Sharks would again be at home, this time on a Friday night as the Brisbane Broncos come to town. Unwanted by Wayne Bennett and the Broncos, it is a clash new Shark Ben Barba is certain to fired-up for.
And coming from rival camps overnight was the news that the Sharks will travel to the traditional suburban venues of WIN Jubilee Oval in Kogarah and the Belmore Sports Ground to take on the Dragons and Bulldogs respectively.
The Belmore game will be the one and only for the Dogs at their spiritual home in 2015, with the Sharks last visit to the Canterbury heartland coming back in the Super League season of 1997, while the return to Kogarah comes after a couple of seasons of local derbies in Wollongong.
However the most significant development coming from the 2015 Sharks draw could well be the fact that this year they will be a staple on free-to-air television with Cronulla having eight Channel 9 games in the first 20 rounds of the competition.
“Not only should Sharks fans be excited about the time slots we’ve been allocated in the 2015 draw, sponsors, corporate partners and local businesses associated with the club should also be very excited with the potential sponsorship value return for 2015,” Steve McGee, Sharks General Manager of Commercial and Marketing said.
“For both current and prospective partners the return will be to be three to four times what it was in 2014, with the eight Channel Nine games adding considerably to their exposure. It is a huge boost.”
The NRL has scheduled 11.00am for the official draw release, with the Sharks to communicate the full 2015 schedule as soon as it becomes available.
To join in a Twitter chat relating to the 2015 Telstra Premiership Draw, CLICK HERE and see the dedicated link on the Sharks website.