Coffs Harbour Snappers during their preliminary final win against Port Macquarie Pirates last year.
Coffs Harbour Snappers during their preliminary final win against Port Macquarie Pirates last year.

Coffs clubs look north after first grade folds

IN AN effort to get on the park this season, two Coffs Harbour rugby clubs are looking to their northern neighbours.

Coffs Harbour Snappers and SCU Marlins have submitted a formal application to play in the Far North Coast Rugby Union competition after Mid North Coast Rugby Union officially pulled the pin on the 2020 season.

The move was supported by MNCRU executive officer Bob Wilson, who earlier revealed plans to create a three-club 'tri-series' with Hastings Valley Vikings had fallen through, leaving the two clubs with few options.

Both Kempsey and Port Macquarie had previously quit the competition and Wilson said he was disappointed the zone couldn't make "a positive out of a negative" in what was the Vikings 25th anniversary.

"Hastings Valley have advised the zone that they are not interested in this format and are withdrawing their First Grade, Reserve Grade and Women's Teams which is very disappointing," he said.

SCU Marlins players celebrate after a Jarryd Frank try in 2019.
SCU Marlins players celebrate after a Jarryd Frank try in 2019.

"Both Coffs Harbour and SCU have advised they will endeavour to play in either the FNC or New England Competitions as they feel responsible for getting all their players a game of Rugby. The MNCRU fully support both clubs in their decision."

Snappers president Matt Quirk was feeling positive about their chances of playing in the FNC competition after players endorsed the plan "just to get a game of footy for 2020".

"Both the Snappers and Marlins were unanimous in voting to join (FNCRU) and we wanted to do what is best for the players," Quirk said.

"We don't mind which competition we play in we just want to get on the paddock."

Mr Quirk added he was thankful for the MNCRU's support in trying to find a solution for the clubs and subsequently endorsing their move north for a season.

"(MNCRU) have been brilliant - they gave us approval straight away," he said.

"They know our hearts are in the right spot and we just want to play rugby.

"We are pretty excited, it will be a bit of a change and something different."

The eight FNCRU clubs will vote on expansion to a ten team competition by Tuesday, with a 75 per cent majority needed for it to go ahead.