Raiders get ready to rejoin League
THE Tweed Coast Raiders will officially rejoin the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League, making it a 13-team competition in 2016.
The Raiders got the stamp of approval with the majority vote from rival clubs and the NRRRL management committee this week at a special meeting.
It will be the first time since 2011 they have played in the competition with South Tweed also joining the competition this year.
Tweed Coast have been training since late last year and were given a strict criteria they had to meet before their application was approved.
"There was some pretty strict guidelines in place but they're very excited to be back," NRRRL president Brian Rix said.
"They had to have a three-year plan with sponsors and players already signed up.
"There had to be a committee in place with people that would stick around to make sure they keep up with everything.
"South Tweed are also back training and they've already had 35 players and expect to have 50 in the coming weeks."
Neither Tweed team will have under 18s this year but both will field reserve grade sides.
Cudgen came back into the competition for the first time since 2011 last season and made the semi-finals.
The draw is expected to be finalised in the coming weeks with the competition to start in April.
"There will probably be one full round with some local derbies to cut down the travel in the second half of the season," Rix said.
"Now we have the teams locked in we can focus on the draw and have it sorted in about three weeks."
Meanwhile, there has been plenty of player movement as clubs finalise first grade rosters for the upcoming season.
Northern United have been boosted by the return of front-rower Les Roberts.
Roberts played some of his best games at United before winning a premiership with Ballina last season.
Elsewhere, the Evans Head Bombers have welcomed back fullback Aaron Scells.
Scells was one of their best before moving to Gladstone two years ago.