NSWRL approve Moree Boars' request to move from Group 19 to Group 4 for 2020 season

APPROVED: NSWRL have approved the Moree Boars' request to move from Group 19 to Group 4.
APPROVED: NSWRL have approved the Moree Boars' request to move from Group 19 to Group 4.

The Moree Boars application to transfer from Group 19 to Group 4 has been approved, NSWRL announced yesterday morning.

The Boars first requested the move back in September last year, but have spent significant time waiting to find out if they would be given approval.

Following a merge of Country Rugby League (CRL) into NSWRL, the board said there would be no boundary changes for two years while it reviewed the the boundaries and competition structures across the state, which is expected to be complete by the middle of the year.

However, NSWRL ruled at a board meeting last Friday that it will permit the Boars move to Group 4 for the 2020 season only because of special circumstances, pending further reviews.

"Notwithstanding this, after the Board considered the particular request from the Moree Boars, they were satisfied that there are special circumstances which require the request to be granted in this instance," NRWRL chief executive David Trodden said.

"It is important to understand that the approval for the transfer from Group 19 to Group 4 is strictly for the 2020 season only and subject to the findings of the review of boundaries and competition structures."

Moree Boars president Todd Mitchell said it's been a long road to get to this point but is pleased with the result.

"We are happy about being back in Group 4 and we are looking forward to the season ahead," Mitchell said.

"We made contact with Group 4 right back in April last year, expressing our interest in returning to Group 4.

"Group 19 have been very accommodating over the past six years and all the clubs made us welcome when we changed in 2014 to Group 19."

Uralla and Walcha rugby league clubs have also applied for a move to Group 4, but question marks still remain as to whether they will be approved.

After inquiring with NSWRL about Walcha and Uralla's applications, Australian Community Media learned "there was no application from Walcha or Uralla before the Board."

Last year, the two clubs confirmed interest in playing in a proposed six-club, two-team - men's and league tag - Premier League structure, put forward by Group 4.

Both clubs were under the impression their fate would be determined at last week's NSWRL board meeting and were surprised to find out their applications had not been forwarded on.

"It has only been discussed down here with [regional area manager Scott Bone] Bones and clubs to find out where they are to form a separate competition," McCoy said.

"It has to go through Group 19, Group 4 and Scott Bone first here.

"We are doing our best to have a board meeting next week for Group 4 and we will see if we can provide special circumstances to have them change comps if we can."

Group 4 were planning the new premier league competition based on Walcha and Uralla's inclusion prior to taking it to the NSWRL board.

McCoy said there are four weeks until the next board meeting and they will be planning it in the meantime.

While Group 4's start date isn't until May, Group 19 is due to commence their season on April 4 and 5.

If NSWRL deny their requests to transfer, it would mean Group 19 need to include the clubs in their season draw.

It would leave little more than a month for both Group 19 and the clubs to organise the competition and chairman Terry Carson said "a month out is too late."

"It makes things very difficult," he said.

"It certainly puts a lot of pressure on our clubs, they have got to get volunteers organised, book fields, get liquor licences and what not sorted for game day.

"We just want an answer and want it as soon as possible.

"End of February is getting too late and I think both clubs would agree with that too."

The Group 19 committee admitted they didn't mind Walcha and Uralla departing.

"We were supportive of clubs leaving if that was what they thought was best for their club but it is good to have the clubs in," Carson said.

Walcha president Michael Aspinall said he is "frustrated" by being left in limbo and it is hard to organise their season and prepare teams when they don't know when it is due to start.

ACM contacted Group 4 chairman Ray McCoy who confirmed he hadn't approached the state's governing body about the proposed new competition but "it will eventually" have to go before the NSWRL board.