Parkes Boars president Rory Nock says his club hasn’t given up hope of being a top tier Central West Rugby Union club in the future.
But, as of 2018, he’s happy the Boars will be in the newly developed second level.
Alongside CSU Bathurst, Dubbo Rhinos and Mudgee, Parkes is one of four Blowes Clothing Cup clubs pushed down a peg to compete with promoted GrainCorp Cup giants Narromine and Blayney in a new six-team second tier designed to help keep small rugby clubs afloat.
Simply, the four going down a peg weren’t competitive enough, throughout all grades, against the likes of Emus, Forbes, Dubbo Roos and Bathurst Bulldogs in the Blowes Clothing Cup.
But Nock, who is returning for a second stint as Parkes president after being at the helm of the Boars during the club’s run to the Blowes Clothing Cup title in 2011, believes the maroon and blacks should continue to strive to be part of the top tier.
“I’d like to think so,” the 29-year-old said when asked if Parkes can return to the top.
“A lot of people in the club haven’t written that off. As far as our juniors are concerned, it needs to be an option. But not at the minute.”
He said after a tough 2017, dropping back a level and rebuilding is what’s best for Parkes rugby.
“Realistically last year didn’t work for us. We ran out of numbers basically. Something had to happen for us and this is better than going back to GrainCorp Cup,” he said.
With the second tier requiring just first grade and second grade sides, Parkes will go from battling for player numbers to facing a new challenge.
“It’ll be a nice change to have a few too many,” he joked.
“We’ll lose a few of the good players. We won’t have Israel (Symington), Joe Nash or Johnny Rahtbone, our best three by a long shot.”
But he said the Boars were looking forward to getting to know a couple of different clubs like Blayney and engaging in more competitive rugby – twice in 2017 the Boars had 100 points put past them.
Nock didn’t think playing sides three times in the one season was a bad thing.
“I’d rather see those teams three times and be competitive than play the stronger clubs twice and be beaten by 100 points,” he added.
“I think the comp will have a bit more of a social, bush football feel about it.
“The top teams taken out removes the pressure a bit.”
Nock said while no official training had begun yet, work towards building two competitive sides is well underway with finals the goal for both teams in 2018.
Parkes will use its second grade side as a platform for its colts that won’t have a designated competition to play in from next season.
“I think we’ll be stronger again in years to come. It’s a building year,” Nock said.