Newcastle Rugby League clubs vote to switch affiliation from CRL to NSWRL

Matt Harris
Matt Harris

Newcastle Rugby League’s plan to change its affiliation from Country Rugby League to the NSW Rugby League was taken a step further on Monday night with a unanimous vote of support from the district clubs.

The Herald revealed on Sunday the move to sever ties with the CRL.

In a press release last night, Newcastle RL general manager Matt Harris said a motion was tabled at a meeting to seek affiliation with NSWRL and, after discussion, an affirmative vote was carried unanimously by the eight clubs and the Newcastle and Coalfields Referees Association.

The statement said more details would be released when available.

Harris had indicated to clubs via an email before the meeting that the NSWRL board had agreed to the affiliation proposal “on the conditions that support from the district clubs and the West Group/Knights is confirmed”. 

The email also said clubs at a November 28 competition committee meeting had expressed in-principle support for the change if referees remained available and there were no major obstacles.

However, there was concern before the meeting about the status of player registrations, which are lodged with the CRL.    

It also appears players at the eight district clubs would also be ineligible to represent Newcastle at the Country Championships, which changed to an under-23 competition this year.