Shute Shield: Official draw released for 2020 season, grand final on October 31

By MARK CASHMAN

The 2020 Shute Shield competition will kick off on Saturday July 18 with the grand final replay between Sydney Uni and Warringah at Rat Park and the match between Eastern Suburbs and Gordon at Chatswood Oval the pick of Week One action.

The Covid-19 delayed competition will be played out over 13 home and away rounds featuring one bye for each club and a three-week finals series culminating on October 31 with the grand final.

The 11 teams from 2019 will be joined by Penrith and Newcastle broadening the footprint of the competition at a critical stage for the game.

And Sydney Rugby Union president Phil Parsons believes crowds will be part of the equation by the time the competition is underway.

“There are two principles under which we could have crowds – either we have crowds under 25 percent of ground capacity or crowds with social distancing,” Parsons told the Big Sports Breakfast on Friday morning.

“Within those principles we’re comfortable with that.”

Newcastle will make their return to the Shute Shield with their game against Randwick at Coogee Oval while Penrith take the bye in Week One before playing Northern Suburbs at either Bon Andrews Oval or Rawson Oval in Week Two.

The battle of the peninsula between Manly and Warringah will be played out in Week Eight at Manly Oval on September 5.

The final series will be made up of six teams in all grades at this stage with most clubs expected to field four grades and three colts teams.

Ground availability at the back end of the season has been a major concern with venues like Drummoyne Oval and North Sydney Oval off the table because of their long standing commitments to major cricket games.

THE 2020 SHUTE SHIELD COMPETITION DRAW

* Please note home teams are first

WEEK ONE (July 18)

Warringah v Sydney Uni at Rat Park

Gordon v Eastern Suburbs at Chatswood

Southern Districts Eastwood at Forshaw

West Harbour v Northern Suburbs at Drummoyne

Manly v WS Two Blues at Manly

Randwick v Newcastle at Coogee

BYE: Penrith

WEEK TWO (July 25)

Randwick v Warringah at Coogee

Eastern Suburbs v West Harbour at Woollahra

Gordon v WS Two Blues at Chatswood

Northern Suburbs v Penrith at TBA

Sydney Uni v Manly at SUFG

Newcastle v Eastwood at TBA

BYE: Southern Districts

WEEK THREE (August 1)

Manly v Northern Suburbs at Manly

WS Two Blues v Randwick at Lidcombe Oval

Penrith v Southern Districts at Nepean

Warringah v Eastern Suburbs at Rat Park 

Newcastle v Sydney Uni at TBA

Eastwood v West Harbour at TG Millner

BYE: Gordon

WEEK FOUR (August 8)

Eastern Suburbs v Eastwood at Woollahra

Gordon v Warringah at Rat Park

Manly v Newcastle at Manly

Southern Districts v WS Two Blues at Forshaw

Sydney Uni v Penrith at SUFG

West Harbour v Randwick at Drummoyne

BYE: Northern Suburbs

WEEK FIVE (August 15)

Manly v Gordon at Manly

Northern Suburbs v Newcastle at TBA

WS Two Blues v Eastwood at Lidcombe

Randwick v Penrith at Coogee

Sydney Uni v Southern Districts at SUFG

Warringah v West Harbour at Rat Park

BYE: Eastern Suburbs 

WEEK SIX (August 22)

Eastern Suburbs v Northern Suburbs at Woollahra

Eastwood v Sydney Uni at TG Millner

Penrith v Warringah at Nepean

Randwick v Southern Districts

West Harbour v Manly at TBA

Newcastle v Gordon at TBA

BYE: WS Two Blues

WEEK SEVEN (August 29) 

Northern Suburbs v WS Two Blues at TBA

Penrith v Manly at Nepean

Randwick v Eastwood at Coogee

Warringah v Southern Districts at Rat Park

West Harbour v Gordon at TBA

Newcastle v Eastern Suburbs at TBA

BYE: Sydney Uni

WEEK EIGHT (September 5)

Manly v Warringah at Manly

Northern Suburbs v Eastwood at TBA

WS Two Blues v Penrith at Lidcombe

Randwick v Gordon at Coogee

Southern Districts v Eastern Suburbs at Forshaw

Sydney Uni v West Harbour at SUFG

BYE: Newcastle

WEEK NINE (September 12)

Eastern Suburbs v Sydney Uni at Woollahra

Eastwood v Manly at TG Millner

Gordon v Southern Districts at Chatswood

Northern Suburbs v Randwick at TBA

WS Two Blues v Newcastle at Lidcombe

Penrith v West Harbour at Nepean

BYE: Warringah

WEEK 10 (September 19)

Eastwood v Penrith at TG Millner

Gordon v Northern Suburbs at Chatswood

Manly v Eastern Suburbs at Manly

Southern Districts v Newcastle at Forshaw

Sydney Uni v Randwick at SUFG

Warringah v WS Two Blues at Rat Park

BYE: West Harbour

WEEK 11 (September 26)

Eastern Suburbs v Penrith at Woollahra

Gordon v Sydney Uni at Chatswood

Northern Suburbs v Southern Districts at TBA

Randwick v Manly at TBA

West Harbour v WS Two Blues at TBA

Newcastle v Warringah at TBA

BYE: Eastwood

WEEK 12 (October 3)

Eastwood v Warringah at TG Millner

WS Two Blues v Eastern Suburbs at Lidcombe

Penrith v Gordon at Nepean

Southern Districts v Manly at Forshaw

Sydney Uni v Northern Suburbs at SUFG

Newcastle v West Harbour at TBA

BYE: Randwick

WEEK 13 (October 10)

Eastern Suburbs v Randwick at Woollahra

Eastwood v Gordon at TG Millner

WS Two Blues v Sydney Uni at Lidcombe

Penrith v Newcastle at Nepean

Warringah v Northern Suburbs at Rat Park

West Harbour v Southern Districts at Taplin Oval

BYE: Manly 

QUALIFYING FINALS (October 17)

ELIMINATION FINALS (October 24)

GRAND FINAL (October 31)