HISTORIC ITEM: The CRL's gold and maroon jersey could soon be retired after a merger with the NSWRL.
HISTORIC ITEM: The CRL's gold and maroon jersey could soon be retired after a merger with the NSWRL. Gregg Porteous

Country Rugby League in merger talks

AFTER months of rumours it appears a union of the New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL) and Country Rugby League (CRL) is imminent.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been developed which which will involve formal discussions in relation to a possible merger that would see rugby league in NSW governed by one body for the first time in more than 80 years.

NSWRL chief executive David Trodden and CRL chief executive Terry Quinn made the announcement after executing the document whereby both organisations would work towards merging into a single entity by November 1, 2020.

The merger would allow for significantly more combined resources to deliver rugby league programs and competitions across the whole state.

Quinn said all existing staff have received assurances their employment is secure.

"This is a major step forward,” he said.

"The CRL has always been committed to advancing the state of the game in regional areas and we're pleased to be working alongside NSWRL seeking to create a merged governing body that will continue to serve in the best interests of clubs, participants and volunteers at all levels.”

From 2019 , the two bodies will be under one roof at the new Centre of Excellence (COE).

It's believed CRL has substantial financial resources of around $8 million which will be used to continue development programs and deliver tenure tenure for several decades in the COE building.