ON-field rugby rivals the Coffs Snappers and SCU Marlins will join forces in 2020.
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The two Coffs Harbour clubs will field a combined team to compete this season in the New England Rugby Union competition.
Unable to play in the Mid North Coast or Far North Coast competitions this year due to COVID-19, both clubs applied to play in their own right against the Armidale, Tamworth and Glen Innes teams but the NERU said it was unable to accommodate both clubs.
The Marlins and Snappers then offered to join the competition as a combined entity and the proposal was accepted at a New England meeting on Monday night.
The new team’s entry will eliminate the bye that existed in the original New England fixture.
It’s expected the Coffs Coast team will field 1st and 2nd XV teams and possibly enter a team into third grade.
The women’s team from both clubs will be playing in a MNC Rugby competition this year.
Mid North Coast Rugby Director Paul Butcher said this arrangement means the goal the Snappers and Marlins had of playing rugby this year has now been achieved.
“We are ecstatic to be able to field a combined side to be included in the NERU comp for 2020,” Mr Butcher said.
“It’s a great thing for Mid North Coast players to be able to join with players from both New England and Central North clubs and get guys playing rugby this year.”
The new team will play its first match on 25 July when Coffs Harbour travels to Glen Innes. The first home game will be on 1 August against Walcha.
By Brad GREENSHIELDS