Reigning Dewar Shield Premiers Harlequins kick off their title defense with a trip to highly fancied Moorabbin in Round One of the 2023 VAILO Dewar Shield.
The matchup, to be streamed on the Rugby Victoria Facebook page, is just one of many mouth-watering clashes featured in the 2023 Dewar Shield draw, which has been publicly released today.
“2023 is shaping up to be one of the most even competitions in years,” said Rugby Victoria CEO Chris Evans.
“We were blessed with such an exciting season in 2022 full of upsets and fairytale runs right through until the finals. 2023 already looks set to be just as exciting.”
The 14 round home and away season commences on 29 April and sees grand finalists Power House get the chance to avenge their Dewar Shield loss to Harlequins in Round 5.
Whilst the Lindroth Cup won’t kick off until May 6, expectation is already mounting with the competition swelling to seven teams.
“It’s a reflection of how strong the women’s game is becoming that we are now able to promote so many teams into our premier female competition,” stated Evans.
“The return of Box Hill and Power House is particularly pleasing.
“The introduction of more youth girls’ competitions this year is only going to strengthen the Lindroth Cup in years to come, so it’s an exciting time for the women’s game.”
Numerous celebration rounds, highlighting the diversity of the rugby community, are also a feature of the 2023 draw.
“We’re really excited to designate May 6 as Pride Round,” said Evans.
“Pride Round is an important tool for us to promote and support the diversity and inclusion of LGBTQI+ rugby participants, communities and families whilst reaffirming Rugby Victoria’s commitment to being a game for all.
“In June 3 we will be running the Respect Round; focusing on the importance of fostering positive relationships and respectful interactions between players, match officials, volunteers and spectators, both on and off the field.
“Our NAIDOC Week Round falls in the second week of July and is an important celebration for our community. The round is a timely opportunity to recognise the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”
With a competition wide BYE week earmarked for June 10, the competition will come to a close on grand final day, which falls on 26 August.