Bilambil captain Mitch Spackman playing in the Gold Coast competition last season. The Jets are coming into NRRRL for the first time.
Bilambil captain Mitch Spackman playing in the Gold Coast competition last season. The Jets are coming into NRRRL for the first time. Richard Gosling

Bilambil joins NRRRL for first time

BILAMBIL will join Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League for the first time with a 13-team competition expected for next season.

The Jets have got the stamp of approval to move from the Gold Coast competition and were officially voted in at the NRRRL annual general meeting on Monday night.

Lower Clarence is still in limbo after 12 months out of first grade and a 12-team competition will run if they don't have the numbers.

Robin Harley has stood down as NRRRL president after three years in the top job and has been replaced by Mark Harrison.

Harley was thrilled to have Harrison take the reins and believes Bilambil would be a welcome addition.

"Bilambil are in for the first time and it's mainly because of the broken nature of the Gold Coast competition,” he said.

"First grade, reserve grade and under-18s have often been split up and they're sick of playing at different grounds.

"They see themselves as a family club with a strong junior base so they didn't see that model being sustainable for the future.”

Harley confirmed Grafton Ghosts would remain in the Group 2 competition based on a decision by the newly-formed NSW Rugby League board last month.

Ghosts have been unhappy in Group 2 for the past few seasons with its juniors part of Group 1 in the Northern Rivers competition.

"Questions were asked about what happened with Ghosts and all I could really say was the process has already been completed,” Harley said.

"They were quick to act and took their case to a higher level and unfortunately didn't get the answer they wanted.”

The NRRRL will also run its 2000 points system which acts as a salary cap at clubs for a second year.

Harley said it could also be tweaked where no club could take more than three players per grade from a rival NRRRL club.



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