Ethan Roberts, 13 stands over the top of cousin Tristan.
Ethan Roberts, 13 stands over the top of cousin Tristan.

Fans weigh in to league debate

THE Clarence Valley’s rugby league community has voted with their fingers in favour of the reintroduction of weight divisions in local competitions.

Following Friday’s edition of the Examiner where we asked readers to give their opinion as to whether the current age categories should be scrapped, as of Sunday 66 per cent had voted for a change.

Players such as South Grafton Rebels’ Ethan Roberts stands more than 170cm and tips the scales at 82kg despite being 13.

This can be up to twice as heavy as some of his rivals, greatly increasing any potential risks of injury.

Despite pleas from league officials of the safety involved in each contest, fans believe a change should be made.

Ethan’s mother Glenda Roberts mooted weight categories for ages under-7 through to 13.

But the mental ability of youngsters restricts them from playing against older competitors, regardless of whether they have the size to do so.

“My son is probably an equivalent size to a 15 or 16-year-old but he does not have the mental ability to play at that level,” Roberts told the Examiner.

“But to put my son against kids much older would be unfair on him.”

Player numbers is the largest factor against the proposed change, which is likely to be raised at tonight’s Northern Rivers Junior Rugby League council meeting.



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