Season seven of the Rugby League Jamaica Division 2 kicks off on October 26th.
The flagship expansion competition in Jamaica welcomes two newcomers this season, which is will a shoot out to the December 14th finals.
Teams will compete in two groups, with four teams in each.
In Group A, CMU Spartans, Mona Pelicans and St Bess Sledgehammers will be joined by the new look Duhaney Park Firestorm.
The Spartans are the early favourites to top the group after an impressive run in the National Knock Out tournament, but surprises are never far away in RLJ:D2.
The Sledgehammers from St Elizabeth return following a promising debut in 2018, with many of the 2018 National High School Champion players from the BB Coke High School now available for selection.
Mona Pelicans will again draw from the UWI Intercol team, with the addition of a few Liguanea Dragons, who are now concentrating on the NCC. The Pelicans should be stronger than 2018 and will test the others.
The unknown quantity is the newly branded Duhaney Park Firestorm. Created as a feeder system the National Champion Red Sharks, the Firestorm will be well coached and should pick up some of the skills displayed by their parent team.
Group B will be equally as competitive, with St Catherine teams outnumbering a single Kingston team;
The returning Cedar Grove Cyclones, last years finalists will be the bookies favourites to win the group, with their talent base from the Cedar Grove Academy growing after another year.
Kingston Central Hounds will have something to say this year after a slow start to 2018 cost them a finals spot. The Hounds are expecting to welcome some developing players from the Championship Bulls club alongside younger talent from the Calabar system.
The Portmore Eliminators, with the best name in Rugby League, will be hoping to live up to their name after a building effort in 2018. The young squad have benefitted from 2018 and learned some lessons. We can expect a competitive Eliminators in 2019.
In a coup for the competition, we welcome the Old Harbour Knights in 2019. Born from the successful Old Harbour High School program, who lead the 2019 High School Championship, the Knights are an unknown quantity who might just shock a few teams.
Rugby League Jamaica Vice Chairman, Adrian Hall said
“The RLJ:D2 should be the best yet. We continue to grow our footprint in this expansion competition and give young and developing players a genuine pathway to top level Rugby League.
We expect a tough contest and some new starts of our game to emerge.
2019 will be a showcase for emerging Jamaican talent which you can catch through our social media, or at rljam.com”
The season culminates in the Grand final, played on December 14th.