Narrabri and District Junior Rugby League’s under-13s, under-15s and under-16s teams will all play in modified intertown competitions from July, however junior footy for younger players in Narrabri and Wee Waa is still in doubt.

NDJRL released a statement on Sunday that said it had nominated the three international teams for the coming season which is scheduled to begin on the weekend of July 25 and 26.

However it said that due to a lack of registered players, coaches and volunteers in the mini mods (5-12-years) that competition had been put on hold for now.
NDJRL president Ben Manchee told The Courier yesterday that was still the case.

“At the moment we don’t really have enough registrations in our mini mods to actually have a competition and Wee Waa is about the same, they’re really struggling in their mini mods,” Manchee said.

“At the moment we are only at about 25 per cent of registrations. At last count we only had about 40 or 50 registered where last year we had 200 registered.

“What we are suggesting to people is that if they want to have competitions in those age groups they need to get their kids registered.

“We are hoping to get things up and running for the mini mods but the season for them might start a little bit later than the internationals and might run a little bit later if we do get it up and running.

“But we are keeping it on hold for now and we will reassess probably just after July 1.”

Manchee said that it was not only player numbers that needed to increase in the mini mods age groups, but also volunteer help was essential to help junior league restart in a COVID-safe environment.

“We also need volunteer help as well, we need people to put their hands up, there’s a lot of jobs and a lot of stuff that have to do with COVID requirements at the moment,” Manchee said.

“I advise everyone to get onto the NSW Rugby League website and go to the COVID hub and read through the information.

“As we all know things are changing and hopefully by July 1 the restrictions will be a little bit different.”

NDJRL’s three internationals teams have been entered into the coming North West Group 4 Junior Rugby League season.

Narrabri will compete in the under-13s, under-15s and under-16s competitions which are expected to be played as a gala day format.

North West Group 4 Junior Rugby League has proposed that all teams from an age group would play at one venue each week.

For example in week two, when Narrabri is scheduled to host its first home match day, the under-15s teams would play in Narrabri at Cooma Oval, the 14s would play at Gunnedah, the 16s at North Tamworth and the 13s at Farrar.

Each team would play two games per day which would see them play 16 matches in an eight-week season.

If that proposal goes ahead Narrabri would host six match days during the season which would mean each of its three teams would play four home games each.

Collins Park was proposed as the venue for Narrabri by North West Group 4 Junior Rugby League, however Manchee said that those games would have to be played at Cooma Oval to meet COVID-19 requirements.

“The internationals games won’t be at Collins Park, with the restrictions Collins Park can only have 250 people and I think the days will be bigger than that,” Manchee said.

“It’s good that it looks like we’ll have six days here in Narrabri out of eight weeks, but it will be a lot of work.

“The committee will put out a bit of a plan soon.”

Manchee said that the internationals teams had shown great support by registering early which assisted the club in nominating three sides.

“We had great support in the 13s, our combined 14s/15s team came together late but we had good registrations there as well as our 16s, but we do need a few more registrations in both the 16s and the 14s/15s teams.”

Narrabri’s under-13s team will be one to watch in 2020.

The team was crowned champions at its home carnival last year for a seventh consecutive year, but what was most special about that run was the fact that the side never lost a game at any of those carnivals.

The Lee Browning-coached team also defeated a Tamworth Minor League development side last year and is expected to be a force in its first year in the internationals competition in 2020.

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