Port Stephens launches new rugby league club

STRUGGLED: The Northern Blues were failing on and off the field.
STRUGGLED: The Northern Blues were failing on and off the field.

THE Northern Blues are no more after a new Port Stephens rugby league club was created last night at a meeting in Salamander Bay.

The Port Stephens Sharks brand has been registered.

An eight-person steering committee, chaired by former Blues first-grade manager Wayne Humphrey, was elected at the meeting.

Committee members hail from Stockton, Raymond Terrace, Mallabula, Stroud and Nelson Bay league clubs.

The Blues have existed in the Newcastle Rugby League since its formation in 1910 and have been based at Nelson Bay since 1988.

In the past two seasons the club have increasingly struggled to remain competitive on and off the field.

Humphrey said the Sharks were about amalgamation rather than the Blues taking over their affiliate clubs.

‘‘There was a lot of passionate people here tonight and a lot of robust discussion,’’ Humphrey said.

‘‘It was resolved that we will not let rugby league at a first division level in Port Stephens die and the best way to progress is the creation of the Sharks, which gives us a chance to encompass the whole shire and not have this division that is perceived to exist.’’

The committee meets again on November 10 at Mallabula.