A MAINSTAY of local rugby league will be conspicuous by their absence this year, as the Tooheys New Group 2 Rugby League released its draw for season 2021.
This year’s competition will feature six teams, after the Sawtell Panthers decided not to enter a first-grade team in 2021.
In a social media post announcing this year’s draw, Tooheys New Group 2 Rugby League stated, ‘Sawtell has withdrawn from the first grade competition.
‘They are awaiting the outcome of negotiations to allow their players from Reserve Grade, Under 18’s and League Tag to play as part of a blended team with another club.’
The 2021 season will comprise 15 rounds, with a four-week finals series in August culminating in the grand final on Sunday, 29 August.
No games will be played on the Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend on Sunday, 13 June.
This year’s competition kicks off on Sunday, 18 April with the Woolgoolga Seahorses hosting the Coffs Harbour Comets in their Round 1 local derby.
The Bellingen Valley/Dorrigo Magpies open their season at home against 2019 premiers the Grafton Ghosts.
The Macksville Sea Eagles and South Grafton Rebels get their season underway with an opening round clash at Macksville.
Group 2 players will play on ANZAC Day with Round 2 scheduled to be played on Sunday, 25 April.
Coffs Harbour Comets meet the Grafton Ghosts in their 2019 grand final rematch at Geoff King Motors Oval in an ANZAC Day blockbuster
The Woolgoolga Seahorses and Bellingen/Valley Dorrigo Magpies both hit the road for ANZAC Day, as the Seahorses take on the South Grafton Rebels, while the Magpies play the Macksville Sea Eagles.
The Comets and Seahorses will play two more local derbies after the opening round this season, in Round 6 at Coffs Harbour on 23 May, and Round 11 at Woolgoolga on 4 July.
By Aiden BURGESS