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July 22, 2024 6:33 PM

We will be back

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BY ALEX TIGANI

“Group 21 is not dead.”

Those were the words from local rugby league legend Gary Gardner on the eve of this weekend’s Newcastle and Hunter Community Rugby League season opener.

Speaking on behalf of the Bengalla Hunter Valley Group 21 board of directors, he sternly reminded the public that the cancellation of the local season was a decision made by the clubs.

“Group 21 is certainly not dead,” Gardner told The Hunter River Times.

“The clubs voted on this and that’s how they voted; we didn’t have a vote as a board, we’re here to serve the clubs.

“Only two clubs opted to play on at senior level, but three clubs wanted to continue at under-18 level which is great because they are the future of their clubs.”

The board of directors will now focus on the upcoming ladies tackle competition this summer as well as ongoing promotion for the 2021 winter.

“We’re ready to hit the ground running,” he concluded.

“The aim is to have six first-grade teams in the Bengalla competition, that’s what we (as a board) want to do.”

Next year’s return could mark the long awaited first grade return of the Muswellbrook Rams who last featured in the top tier in 2018.

Greta Branxton was also left out of the in Group 21 first grade competition last year.

The Colts will join the Singleton Greyhounds in the revamped Newcastle league, travelling to Les Wakeman Oval tomorrow to take on West Wallsend (3pm).

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