Rebels, Rhinos join forces

By STEVE SPINKS THE South Grafton Rebels and the Grafton City Rhinos have amalgamated for the the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League competition next year.

The clubs met recently and have come to an agreement, with the newly created Rhinos taking over the identity of the 93-year-old Rebels.

"It appears the two clubs got together down there and had a meeting to amalgamate," NRRRL president Robin Harley said.

"They've written for permission for their new club to be put before a general meeting in early January.

"It would be fair to say the Rhinos have agreed to undertake to clear the outstanding debts of the Rebels.

"But the name change and colour change has to be put before our members."

The amalgamation of the two clubs is the latest step in the long-running saga that has become rugby league in Grafton.

In November, the NRRRL voted at its annual general meeting to have only one club represent Grafton after Grafton Ghosts and the Rebels had trouble fielding three grades at times last season, while the Rebels were experiencing financial difficulties.

The Rhinos, a new entity, hoped to be the sole team but their application was denied and Ghosts were admitted as the only Grafton team.

However, the NSW Country Rugby League overturned the AGM decision and allowed the Rebels to return on appeal.

This was after the CRL had earlier agreed to support the concept of one club in Grafton.

The CRL backflip on the issue bewildered the NRRRL management committee.

Meanwhile, Northern United has reversed its decision reported earlier this week and is seeking legal advice on how it can enter the Northern League next season.

United, which is looking to become a second club in Lismore, had its application rejected by the NRRRL for the second year in a row at the AGM in November.

At the time club officials vowed to seek legal advice. Earlier this week, club management said they had abandoned any thoughts of trying to enter the competition through the courts.

However, they have revised their decision and are seeking advice from a Gold Coast solicitor.

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