Northern United player Brett Kelly during the game against the Bombers at Crozier Field in Lismore.  Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star
Northern United player Brett Kelly during the game against the Bombers at Crozier Field in Lismore. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star Marc Stapelberg

Players searching for a new home

BYRON Bay could be the destination for a handful of Northern United players after the Dirrawongs were stood down from Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League.

Financial issues and ongoing debt has seen the Dirrawongs ousted from the upcoming season after a meeting with NRRRL management on Monday night.

Country Rugby League has stepped in and officially closed the door on the 2017 season for United after issuing a media release yesterday afternoon.

"The NRRRL and CRL are prepared to assist the club in rectifying their current financial obligations with both local suppliers and other organisations during the 2017 season,” the media release said.

"Then, and only then, will both governing bodies be prepared to commence preparations for the clubs re-entry into the NRRRL competition in 2018.”

Byron Bay finished at the bottom of the ladder last season but has had a handful of Northern United players at the club in the past.

Brothers Bill King, Charles King and Noel King played for Byron Bay before switching to the Dirrawongs two years ago.

Bill King had one of his best seasons and was part of the Red Devils team in 2014 which reached the grand final against Ballina.

Northern United centre Clarence Kelly won a grand final with Byron Bay in 2008 and also represented New South Wales Country in that time.

His younger brother Brett Kelly would likely follow him after they played together in teams at Ballina and Northern United since 2013.

Meanwhile, Cory McGrady is one of the most talented halfbacks in the competition and would be a welcome addition to any club in the NRRRL.

He only played one season with United and it would make sense for him to keep the centre-wing combination with Clarence Kelly and Bill King.

Lock Theo Hippi was a standout at the club last season and signed a one-year deal to play with South Sydney in the National Youth Competition.

United has been back in preseason training this year and captain-coach Djaan Jarrett was hopeful of keeping the side together and have them playing this year.

The Dirrawongs came into the competition in 2009 and played Lower Clarence in the grand final that year.

Dual rugby league and rugby union international Andrew Walker and former South Sydney winger Roy Bell have played for the club in the past.



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