The 2019 Queensland Cup draw has been released today, with the announcement that the competition will adopt the top eight format next season.
The competition gets underway on the weekend of March 9-10, one week prior to the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys 2019 season opener against the St George Illawarra Dragons at 1300SMILES Stadium.
All three of the Cowboys feeder clubs will be in action on the first day of the season (Saturday, March 9), with the Townsville Blackhawks kicking off the season on the road against the Ipswich Jets at North Ipswich Reserve (3pm).
Meanwhile, the Mackay Cutters head to Langlands Park to battle the Easts Tigers (4:30pm), while the Northern Pride host the defending premiers Redcliffe Dolphins at Barlow Park (6pm).
Fans won't have to wait long for the first derby game, with Northern Pride hosting the Townsville Blackhawks on Saturday, March 23 at Barlow Park (6pm) as part of XXXX Rivalry Round.
There are a number of themed rounds throughout the competition, which include:
• XXXX Rivalry Round – Round 3, March 23-24
• ANZAC Weekend – Round 8, April 27-28 (Burleigh v PNG – Kokoda Cup)
• Indigenous Round – Rounds 16 & 17, July 6-7, 13-14
• 'Get in the Game' Country Week – Round 18, July 20-21
• Harvey Norman Women in League – Round 21, August 17-18
• Turn to Me – Round 23, August 31 - September 1
The first week of the playoffs kicks off on the weekend of September 7-8, with the grand final taking place on Sunday, September 29.
Once again, the winner of the Queensland Cup will meet the winner of the New South Wales Cup on the first Sunday in October at ANZ Stadium.
One game each weekend will be broadcast on Channel Nine, with details to be announced at a later date.