The end could be near for Lower Clarence in NRRRL
LOWER Clarence could be on the verge of extinction with the club struggling for players ahead of the upcoming Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League season.
If the Magpies fold it will be the second time since 2016 where they haven't fielded a first grade team, leaving it an 11-team competition.
Tenacious lock Grant Brown has committed for the season while five-eighth Hugh Stanley and second-rower Dan Randall have gone back to Group 2 to play with South Grafton.
The Magpies held a beach training session on Sunday and were on the paddock last night at Yamba where they will be again tomorrow at 6pm.
Club president John Elisaia took to social media over the weekend to call the players into action.
"A lot of guys are just waiting to see who turns up before they make a move. Unfortunately the reality is if we don't get on the front foot there might not be a future,” he said.
"I would love to be able to splurge out the cash to keep some of our bigger names or even attract some marquees, but we can't do it.
"There are a lot of initiatives the new committee has put in place to show the players we are willing to look after them, but they are going to have to put in to earn those.
"It is not about the handout mentality any more. If you want in you have to commit and earn your place.
"In the past, some players have shown no effort to put in but still turned up on Sunday to get paid. That is not how it is going to work this season.”
Magpies stalwart Ray Mercy looks set to rejoin the club from South Grafton.
Fullback Rob Howard was a standout last season while more than half the squad was forced to play two games each Sunday.
"We need that respect in the club,” Elisaia said.
"To be honest, everyone talks about culture - I hate that word.
"It is about commitment, you can't have a culture without the commitment first.
"Eventually someone has to say enough is enough, put their hand up to have a go and the other blokes will follow them.”