File photo of when Lower Clarence played Mullumbimby in NRRRL in 2015. Both clubs will return this season after sitting out last year.
File photo of when Lower Clarence played Mullumbimby in NRRRL in 2015. Both clubs will return this season after sitting out last year. Debrah Novak

Giants on track to tackle NRRRL

TWO clubs with more than 200 years' history between them are on track to return to Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League this year.

Lower Clarence and Mullumbimby sat out last season but will boost the NRRRL to a 12-team competition this season.

Both struggled with the quality and quantity of players to compete in the top grade.

The Magpies did have an under-18s team which travelled with Tweed Coast when the Raiders only fielded teams in first grade and reserve grade.

Mullumbimby was founded in 1909 and was one of Australia's earliest rugby league towns.

The Giants started preseason training late last year and resume again tonight at Les Donnelly Field.

"As far as we know it's full steam ahead for both clubs,” NRRRL president Robin Harley said.

"Mullumbimby are fairly confident they'll be able to field a team in all three grades which would be great. Reports out of Lower Clarence is everything is on track there, too.”

It will not be easy for either club with plenty of its players moving on last season to rugby union and other NRRRL clubs.

However, the Giants have secured club junior Sam Martin to captain-coach the side.

Martin played in the National Youth Competition with the Gold Coast Titans and Melbourne Storm.

He is coming home after spending the past three years studying exercise science in Sydney.

"It will probably be a pretty tough season for both clubs but a fantastic effort to get back on the park after a year out,” Harley said.

"The biggest problem will be trying to get some of the players back who went on to play at other clubs. But having someone like Sam Martin to run the show is a good thing and he'll go well.

"It's business as usual for everyone else and we haven't had any adverse news from the other clubs.”

Mullumbimby is building towards the club relaunch with a sportsman lunch on February 17.

The NRRRL draw has not been done but the competition is expected to start in April.



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