THE future of the Dubbo Rhinos is still up in the air with stakeholders remaining largely tight-lipped after a meeting with the region’s rugby officials on Thursday night.
Central West Rugby Union (CWRU) chief executive Peter Veenstra attended the meeting, along with a pair of CWRU board members, to discuss the Rhinos’ future in the Blowes Clothing Cup.
The meeting came after the Rhinos raised concerns with officials as to whether they could meet the mandatory quota of fielding first grade, second grade and colts sides in 2013.
Whether the club’s future lies in the Blowes Clothing Cup or the second tier Australian National Field Days Cup remains unclear, with an announcement not expected until March 19.
Veenstra, in particular, wasn’t budging when contacted about the meeting.
“I’m not saying anything,” was all the CWRU chief executive had to say.
Rhinos president Rob Albouze was also not giving much away but indicated he felt the meeting, attended by about 20 people, was positive.
“There was some good discussions between ourselves and CWRU and I think the winner out of the meeting was the game of rugby,” Albouze said.
“Some players were there and some past committee people, which is good because these people care about the club and the game and those past people have indicated a willingness to be involved again in some way
“We’ll have an announcement on March 19 because we have some things we need to look at, and Central West have some things they need to look at and we’ll be in contact in the meantime as those things get sorted out.
“There’s various stakeholders that we have and Central West has that we need to discuss things with in the next week or two but at the moment no decision has been made on which competition we will play in.
“We put forward some submissions about some various by-laws and other things and, to Central West’s credit, they have taken them on board but until the March 19 announcement there isn’t much more to say.”
The future of the Rhinos will have a major bearing on both the Blowes Clothing Cup and the Australian National Field Days Cup.
Draws for both competitions have already been released with the Rhinos scheduled to face cross-town rivals Dubbo Kangaroos in their first official match of 2013 at No.1 Oval in Dubbo on April 13.
Any switch by the Rhinos to the ANFD Cup would require a reshuffle of the draws for both competitions less than a month out from the start of the season.