The NSWRL has announced a new football competition blueprint for Rugby League across the state which it hopes will bring the game in regional NSW and the Sydney metropolitan area closer together and set it up for even further success into the future.
Objectives of the One State NSWRL Strategic Plan (competitions) include:
- Increase recruitment and retention;
- Increase the number of officials at grassroots level;
- Enhanced competition and development pathways for women and girls;
- Clearly defined competition pathway with minimum standards of delivery;
- Restructure of the state into six zones and associated region which preserve historical structures but create more efficient competition possibilities - Group Seven and Illawarra will join Cronulla and St George to form the Southern Corridor, while Group Six and Group 16 are now part of Macarthur and Greater Western and Bidgee.
- Creation of a statewide Ron Massey Cup competition.
There will also be an age change for junior representative competitions next season with Jersey Flegg moving to Under 21s, SG Ball and the Harvey Norman Tarsha Gale Cup to Under 19s and Harold Matthews to Under 17s.
The Laurie Daley Cup will remain Under 18s and the Andrew Johns Cup Under 16s for both regional NSW competitions.
The restructure of the state into six zones, which are all approximately equal in size for participation numbers, will promote a competitive balance, reduce travel times for younger age groups, and will allow for more efficient and consistent governance structures.
The creation of a statewide Ron Massey Cup competition follows the success of the Presidents Cup competition this season, which involved teams from regional NSW and the Sydney metropolitan area.