Players set to decide on Koalas' fate

AFTER months of bickering the fate of the South Tweed Koalas Rugby League Club will be decided by its players.

In what seems such a simple move for such a drawn-out saga, on Sunday players intending to pull on the South Tweed jersey will decide in clear and unmistakable terms where they want to play in 2009 - the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League competition or in the Gold Coast Rugby League.

On Monday, a meeting between Australian Rugby League chief executive Geoff Carr, the NSW Country Rugby League CEO Terry Quinn, the CRL executive committee president Warren Kimberley and South Tweed president John Morris mapped out what will hopefully be a solution to the issue of where the club plays next season.

All intending players, from under-17s through to first grade will be presented with player registration papers from NSW and from Queensland and their respective signatures will be a clear indication of where they feel the club's future lies.

“Terry Quinn will bring the papers from NSW and I am obtaining the Queensland papers and it will be a matter of the players deciding once and for all,” Morris said.

“Hopefully this will be the end of the matter.”

But NRRRL president Robin Harley was incredulous that Monday's AGM hadn't resulted in a definitive decision and that it had been left to the players to decide.

He's also worried about the dangerous precedent it sets.

“We were under the impression, on the advice of Terry Quinn, that Geoff Carr would be making a definitive decision. Now we are told he wouldn't,” Harley said.

“We simply wanted them to make a concrete line, so we don't have to go through this year-in, year-out.

“This is the third year in a row we have had insecurity about our competition and the Queensland Rugby League is going to continue to steal clubs from northern NSW until someone from the ARL draws the line.”

Morris presented the ARL/CRL delegates with statements on financial and player losses over the past couple of season playing in the NSW competition.

“The meeting went well I think and they seemed to accept the reason why we want to play in Queensland,” Morris said.

“The club also made it every clear they we didn't intend to back down from that decision.”

Morris stressed to Carr and Quinn that, in no way, had the Gold Coast Rugby League approached South Tweed to come across the border to join that competition.

“This has been a decision made by the South Tweed Rugby League Club solely on our own but with the long term future and viability of the club at heart,” Morris said.

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