VETERAN: The mercurial Ray Mercy will join Lower Clarence Magpies in 2019, he last took the field for Iluka Cossacks.
VETERAN: The mercurial Ray Mercy will join Lower Clarence Magpies in 2019, he last took the field for Iluka Cossacks. Debrah Novak

Magpies get a bit of Mercy for season

RUGBY LEAGUE:

The hopes of the Lower Clarence Magpies in 2019 have become much brighter with the rugby league gods showing Mercy on the struggling club.

The club has signed the experienced Ray Mercy on as coach for the upcoming Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League season as he reconnects with the club he once called home.

The mercurial centre played several seasons in the National Rugby League, including stints at Parramatta Eels and North Queensland Cowboys, while also pulling on the jersey for several local league clubs.

Mercy also enjoyed a successful stint with the Grafton Redmen, and was shortlisted in the centre position for the Team of the Half-Century announced at the club's 50-year function in 2018.

Lower Clarence club president John Elisaia said he was "over the moon” the club was able to agree to terms with the experienced Mercy.

"Ray, who is both respected and well regarded by many within the community, is well aware of the challenge ahead,” Elisaia said.

"But he has stated that he is more than willing to take on the task and give back to the club that looked after him and his brother when they last played for the black and whites.

"He is excited about passing on a wealth of knowledge to the younger Magpies and hopefully show some of the older players how to enjoy playing football again.

"Getting back to basics and enjoying what they are doing will be key to the rebuilding of the club's playing stocks.”

The addition of Mercy as coach is hoped to inspire more players to join the Magpies flock this season as the club aims to continue its rebuild towards the top end of the NRRRL.

The Magpies will be led on the field by Grant Brown this season, with the spirited second-rower agreeing to terms with the committee last week.

But with Mercy expected to strap on the boots and run around for the club, it will ease the pressure on Brown's shoulders as they collectively take on the tough job of renewal in the NRRRL.



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