22nd August 2017, 16:08 | Community
For the first time, this year's Harry Jepson Trophy will be contested by four regional representative teams.
The West of England, Midlands, East, and London & South East representative teams have been undertaking selection trials as their regular season draws to a conclusion for the Trophy clashes, which are due to start at the beginning of September.
The Trophy is named in recognition of one of the sport's greatest administrators and a passionate expansionist, Harry Jepson MBE, who passed away a year ago.
Each region will play the other once and the top two will then contest the final at Hemel Stags on Sunday, 24 September (kick off, 2pm).
"I had the privilege of participating in the Harry Jepson Trophy with Wests Warriors last year, and am very excited to be part of the brand new structure this year," said Shun Tamura, senior manager of the London & South East side.
"I was thrilled to see not only the top clubs competing in London Premier coming forward, but a lot of Merit League players and staff putting their hand up to be part of it too.
"We have had a healthy amount of player nominations and I am very excited to see how the squad shapes up over the next couple of weeks.
Tamura added: "The intention is to showcase how much London has to offer in terms of the calibre of Rugby League played in the region and the passion our players have for the sport.
"This is the first time in my experience that London clubs have come together in this form and there have already been very positive conversations and discussions among the management group."
Chris Chatten, Chairman of the West of England Representative programme, added, "we are excited to be participating in the Harry Jepson regional competition.
"Planning for this competition started during pre-season when club coaches were asked to nominate the top three players from each league fixture which helped to inform invites.
"The regional squad have now had two training sessions together with around 80 players taking part."
Dave Raybould, competition manager at the Rugby Football League, noted: "There is a real appetite for regional representative Rugby League in England and the 2017 Harry Jepson trophy is seen as an ideal opportunity to showcase it.
"Preparations have begun in earnest for what should be an exciting climax to the community season in these regions."
HARRY JEPSON TROPHY 2017 - FIXTURES
Weekend of Saturday 2nd September - Round 1
Weekend of Saturday 9th September - Round 2
Weekend of Saturday 16th September - Round 3
Sunday 24th September 2017 (Pennine Way, Hemel)