Two into one works for rugby

FNCRU is looking to consolidate its lower grade competitions by merging third grade and the Village competition in 2011.

The competition will still be known as the Village competition which includes clubs from Bangalow, Byron Bay, Evans River, Iluka, Kyogle,

Mullumbimby and Murwillumbah and will absorb third grade sides Ballina, Grafton, Lismore and Wollongbar-Alstonville.

Casino Bulls player Brett Carroll has also approached the FNCRU about a re-entry for Richmond Range Rugby Club in 2011.

FNCRU president Tony Heeson believes despite a stop-start season for the first grade competition rugby union in the region is strong.

“We have a population of around 200,000 to draw players from,” Heeson said.

“And we have 33 sides playing across four divisions with seven clubs in the top grade.

“By comparison the Gold Coast has a population of 600,000-plus and they are running with 34 teams including nine in first grade.

“When you compare the numbers I think that you would have to conclude that rugby in the Far North is going fairly strong.”

Heeson's comments are backed up by the FNC Dolphins representative team which brought home the Richardson Shield from the NSW Country Championships this year – the region's best result in recent times.



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