OFFICIAL: Grafton Ghosts and South Grafton Rebels head south
THE SEEMINGLY never-ending saga of the Grafton rugby league clubs' move from the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League to Group 2 is another step closer to being completed.
Both clubs presented their cases to NRRRL management and representatives of the other 10 clubs at the Group meeting at Lismore Workers tonight. The clubs required a majority vote of the clubs and NRRRL executive to allow them to officially negotiate with Group 2.
The result could not have been any more positive for Grafton's two rugby league clubs, as they received unanimous support.
NRRRL president Brian Rix said it was disappointing to see the clubs leave the competition, but supported the move for the "betterment of rugby league".
"A lot of the clubs didn't want either team to leave but supported their move for the betterment of rugby league," Rix said.
"If they find the grass isn't greener on the other side they will be welcomed back with open arms.
"We will operate with 10 clubs next year and focus on making our clubs, and the competition as a whole, stronger."
The next official step in the process is for the Ghosts and Rebels to approach Group 2 management and make a formal application to join the competition. They must also gain majority support of existing Group 2 clubs at their next Group meeting, which is scheduled for October 30.
Group 2 management have already declared their intention to welcome the Ghosts and Rebels to their competition, so much so they have already penned a draft draw with the Ghosts and Rebels included.
The 2014 draw, which is only in the early stages, will see at least one game of rugby league in Grafton every week.
The Lower Clarence Magpies will remain in the NRRRL, with a pre-season tri-series a suggested solution to keep all local derbies alive.
We will have more in Wednesday's The Daily Examiner.