• Over the Black Dot 2020 panel (L-R): Jodan Perry, Timana Tahu, Bo Dela Cruz, George Rose (Ryan Stuart)Source: Ryan Stuart
"Fingers crossed the mighty Canberra Raiders pull their finger out this year!" says new host Jodan Perry.
Sophie Verass

12 Feb 2019 - 2:51 PM  UPDATED 13 Feb 2019 - 10:25 AM

NITV’s flagship NRL panel show Over the Black Dot returns for its third season with a brand new line-up of panellists.

The program will continue to bring audiences footy analysis, interviews with the best Aboriginal players in rugby league and weekly insights into the games. 

This season welcomes back former NRL star George "Gorgeous George" Rose, alongside dual international rugby player Timana Tahu as panellists. Journalist and former League Nation Live panellist Jodan Perry will present as the new host. Dual international athlete Bo Dela Cruz will also join the presenting team, offering expert recaps on the women's games. 

Different weekly guests will continue to make studio appearances, with high profile players such as Matty Bowen, Bevan French and Caitlin Moran locked in for upcoming 2019 shows. 

Beyond the footy analysis, Over the Black Dot will, again, include its comedic light-hearted segments.

After being so well received in the program's first season, George Rose's on-camera carpool, 'Rolling with Rose' will return and entertain as he drives high-profile players to their training. 

New for 2019, is former NRL star Scott Prince's bit, 'Coffee with Scotty', which sees the Kalkadoon man chat with current players about their football journey and career successes and challenges over a flat white, latte, long black or what have you.  

NITV's Head of Sport — and former Rugby Union Wallabies captain — Mark Ella says that he's proud to commission another season of the successful rugby league show. 

"Australia is footy mad and our community, in particular, are huge fans of the rugby league, having a long history with it dating back to the 1900s," Ella said.  

"Currently, in the NRL, 12 per cent of professional players are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and this series celebrate our Indigenous players and their ongoing achievements in the game.

This year, our entertaining line-up of hosts, analysts and guests will boycott the sensationalism and instead offer unique perspectives as they discuss each round of the NRL.”

Journalist, Worimi/Wiradjuri man and self-confessed Rugby League fanatic, Jodan Perry says he's excited about his new role on a program purely focused on league.

"I love the pressure of live television, anything can happen — and it does!" he told NITV. "We will continue to review and preview the NRL and NRLW, but we will also celebrate the game at all levels and endeavour to tell community stories not usually heard of in other programs." 

"Being a journalist, I can bring my news background and keep our audience fully up to date with the latest stories across rugby league."

Perry says that the camaraderie and banter between panellists is always a great dynamic, but for him, the core entertainment comes from meeting the people involved in the game from all levels; players, fans, volunteers.  

"The product of rugby league is brilliant, but for me, it's about hearing the journeys of those involved from the NRL to the grassroots," he said. 

"Hearing what rugby league has done for their lives and the lives of everyone in their communities. Talking like a typical journalist, but I just love hearing and telling stories, and being able to entertain our audience with them."

Despite following rugby league so closely over decades, Perry says it's still hard to predict any of the potential victories, controversies and new stories for the upcoming season. 

"The quality across the competition is incredible! The Roosters have a great chance to go back-to-back, as well as win the Women's competition too," he said. 

"Fingers crossed the mighty Canberra Raiders pull their finger out this year!"

Looking at a more grassroots level, Perry says that the Koori Knockout is always the perfect way to end the rugby league season.

"This year [held on the Central Coast], it will be intense again," he said. "Newcastle All Blacks will no doubt be pulling out all the stops to go back-to-back. I also suspect there are a few teams hurting from last year that will want to go one or two games better."

Over the Black Dot airs weekly from Tuesday 19 March at 8.30pm on NITV (Ch. 34), and repeated on Thursdays, 2pm on SBS. Join the conversation #OverTheBlackDot