Players on the move in lead up to 2016 NRRRL season
BALLINA is set to gain a massive boost with Andrew Battese returning to the club as it chases a fourth straight Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League (NRRRL) premiership this season.
Battese was part of the 2013 and 2014 premiership-winning sides, represented NSW Country, and was also NRRRL Player of the Year during that time.
He was widely regarded as the best player in the competition before he moved away and played on the Gold Coast last season.
However, the Seagulls will lose some firepower with fullback Nikko Roberts joining the Evans Head Bombers.
Roberts can cover a number of positions in the backline and will be a handy addition to a side that made it to the preliminary final last season.
He could easily play five-eighth with Chris Swan leaving Evans Head for the Group 4 competition in the New England area.
Northern United fullback Brett Kelly is also on the move and will play in Group 3 this season.
His older brother Clarence Kelly is going back to Byron Bay, along with Bill and Chris King.
The Bombers have also signed front-rower Jake Ngauamo-Fifita from Casino and Northern United prop Jirra Breckenridge.
It is not all bad news for Casino with Roy Bell returning from a season in Group 2 with the South Grafton Rebels.
Bell was part of a star-studded backline that helped lead the Rebels to a grand final win against the Coffs Harbour Comets.
The class of the former South Sydney winger could be enough for Casino to get back into the semi-finals this season.
Elsewhere, Marist Brothers have made a significant signing in centre Sio Alefosio.
Alefosio played in a grand final with Murwillumbah in 2013 before moving to Mackay for two years.
He was a prolific try-scorer in the NRRRL and will add plenty of strike power to the Brothers backline.
Most teams begin official pre-season training this month with the competition set to kick-off in April.