Rams expansion could lead to country league

SPREAD ITS WINGS: The Challenge Cup, pictured with CYMS president Dave Penny and last year's Mudgee boss Rob O'Connor. Photo: JUDE KEOGH
SPREAD ITS WINGS: The Challenge Cup, pictured with CYMS president Dave Penny and last year's Mudgee boss Rob O'Connor. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

A state league featuring the rugby league sides from Dubbo, Orange, Bathurst, Wagga and Tamworth was just one of the many, if not more radical proposals discussed at Sunday’s Western Rams Rugby League boundary review meeting.

Identities from almost all the region’s competitions attended the meeting at Wellington, designed to discuss any possible competition structure changes in the future.

An outside consultancy agency also attended the event to gather the ideas and put them together in a report.

That report, expected to be done in the next six to eight weeks, will then be put back to the regional committee for further discussion and feedback.

Group 11 was the most well represented competition at the meeting while there was also representatives from Group 10 seniors and juniors, the Castlereagh League, Group 14, Lachlan and District Junior League, the Midwest Rugby League and the Woodbridge Cup.

Country Rugby League regional manager Western Peter Clarke said there was a “good attendance” and “good discussion” but said any comment on outcomes would be pure speculation at this early stage.

The big dreamers of the Western Rams division, Dubbo CYMS chairman Kevin Walkom said a state league featuring country NSW’s biggest regions was mentioned, as was the idea of  a western league featuring the likes of “Lithgow, Orange, Bathurst and Dubbo”.

CYMS kicked off the debate over competition structure last year when applying to move to Group 10, a move which was later denied.

“These meetings are a sign of the right direction. It’s a positive step,” Walkom said, before speaking about the state league idea.

“It’s a concept we could possibly grow into but the first step is looking at our current competitions and the competitiveness of the current competitions.

“Getting better involvement from the community and getting the public to play the game.

“That will strengthen the base to have a state league type competition.”

Walkom was adamant, though, any possible change to structures in the future will not be made to “diminish competition”, but rather help boost it.

There was reportedly some hesitation to change and certain proposals from a number of those who attended the meeting but Clarke added nothing concrete would be revealed just yet, saying there was “no quick fix”.

The attention of clubs in all competitions now turns back to pre-season with events such as the Mudgee and Parkes Nines now getting closer.


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