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2024 Pre-Season Challenge: Everything you need to know

The NRL Pre-Season Challenge kicks off on February 15 and will feature 16 intense and intriguing clashes across two weekends of entertaining footy that sets the stage for the Telstra Premiership.

The Pre-Season Challenge provides the perfect opportunity to fine tune combinations and get some serious game time under the belt ahead of the Telstra Premiership season kicking off in Las Vegas on March 3.

The Pre-Season Challenge format and points system will remain consistent with 2023, which means there will be $100,000 in prize money up for grabs, split evenly between clubs and players. Teams will once again earn bonus points for tries, line breaks and offloads while playing squads will be capped at 28 players per week.

In addition to being the first chance to see off-season recruits run out in their new colours, the Pre-Season Challenge also gives fans and players their first look at the new rule which encourages more use of short dropouts and short kick-offs.

This year's competition will feature 16 teams, with premiers Penrith not taking part in 2024 as they travel to the UK to take on Wigan in the World Club Challenge.

The rules

Games will be played over 80 minutes as normal, with clubs able to field as many as 28 players with unlimited interchanges at their disposal in both weeks. 

The NRL Bunker will be in use in all matches, while games which are tied at the end of regular time will be declared a draw, with no golden point to be played. 

The points

Defending champs

The Sea Eagles downed the Rabbitohs and the Roosters last season to claim the inaugural Pre-Season Challenge and take home the $100,000 prizemoney. Manly kick off the defence of their title against the Roosters in Gosford on February 17 before hosting the Broncos at 4 Pines Park on February 24.

The top 10 plays from the NRL Pre-season Challenge

Bonus points

The addition of bonus points to go alongside points earned by winning or drawing a match will ensure teams have something to play for in every contest, no matter what's happening on the scoreboard. 

Alongside points accumulated through results, the number of bonus points a team can snare each game could make all the difference on what is sure to be a congested ladder. 

The club with the most points at the conclusion of the two rounds will be declared the winner of the Pre-Season Challenge and claim the $100,000 in prizemoney.

Tiebreaker process 

Given the short duration of the Pre-Season Challenge, there is a good chance the winner will have to be decided via a countback, and the NRL has devised a system to find a winner should teams finish tied on points at the top of the ladder.

World Club Challenge 

The World Club Challenge clash between the Panthers and Wigan on February 25 is not part of the Pre-Season Challenge. The Panthers won't be part of the Pre-Season Challenge in 2024.

The Schedule

Round 1 

Round 2

Acknowledgement of Country

Canberra Raiders respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.