THE Illawarra Steelers will finally get to defend their 2019 SG Ball and Tarsha Gale Cup crowns after the NSW Rugby League announced its junior representative draws for 2021.
The Steelers claimed the coveted double at Bankwest Stadium in 2019 - sides featuring Jayden Sullivan, Max Feagai, Maddi Weatherall and Teagan Berry, who've since graduated to the NRL and NRLW.
The competitions were put on hold this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic but will return, along with the Harold Matthews competition, on February 6.
The new year will also see a return of the regional Laurie Daley and Andrew Johns Cups in which the Illawarra South Coast Dragons have competed in recent years.
"I can't think of a better way for the NSWRL to start its season than by showcasing the talented young players in our junior representative competitions who could go on to become the next superstars of the game," NSWRL chief executive David Trodden said.
"I know there will be plenty of people who are looking forward to getting out and watching the footy again but I would certainly encourage them to still respect and adhere to social-distancing guidelines.
"The matches are always great spectacles and there are plenty of players involved who already possess great skills considering their age.
''I can't wait for February to roll around and I'm really looking forward to kick-off."
The competitions were cancelled after several rounds had already been played last season due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the decision made not to award any premierships.
The governing body has also increased age groups to under-19 in SG Ball and Tarsha Gale Cup and under-17 in the Harold Matthews.
However, the Laurie Daley Cup (under-18) and Andrew Johns Cup (under-16) age groups will remain the same.
There'll also be a new top-six finals format for the SG Ball and Harold Matthews Cups, which will consist of 15-team competitions played over nine rounds.
The Tarsha Gale Cup will also have a top-six finals format, with the competition to have nine teams and be played over nine rounds, with grand finals held on April 24.
The Andrew Johns Cup and Laurie Daley Cups will be 10-team, five-round, competitions split into a Northern and Southern Pool.