BLUE: Grafton Ghosts.
BLUE: Grafton Ghosts. Debrah Novak

Time to pledge your allegiance – Ghosts or Rebels?

RUGBY LEAGUE: Whether you bleed red or blue, it all starts tonight.

Anyone sitting on the fence will have to decide which colours to nail to the mast when both Grafton Ghosts and South Grafton Rebels kick off preseason training at 6pm.

The Ghosts will go through their paces at Frank McGuren Park, with assistant coach Adam Slater and conditioning coach Terry West helping out captain-coach Ben McLennan in first grade, Josh Nagle will lead reserve grade and Col Speed the under-18s.

Former president Joe Kinnane has returned to the top role by popular request in 2016.

"I was happy doing what I was doing as first grade manager for the last eight years. But when Neil Payne stood down a few players asked me to take it over to keep it going the way it was," Kinnane said.

"I thought my time was finished but then again I'm quite happy to take on the job and get stuck into it."

In 2015 the Ghosts finished fourth in the top grade, but tasted premiership glory for a second season in a row in Group 2 Reserve Grade.

Across the river at JJ Lawrence Fields, the Rebels will begin preparations for their Group 2 First Grade premiership defence under the guidance of Ron Gordon. Steve Kirby will coach reserve grade and Jason Grimes under-18s.

"Obviously at this time of year fitness is first priority," Gordon said.

"We'll also take a different path defensively this year. It's something we've got to improve on if we're going to keep competing."

Both clubs have indicated all current and new players are most welcome.

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