Rugby league is back: How Rocky’s senior comp will look
Rockhampton Rugby League’s senior competition will return this year and registrations are looking great, according to president Mick Johns.
COVID forced the cancellation of the 2020 season but the countdown is now on to the 2021 kick-off on April 10.
It will be a 15-week season, which includes three weeks of finals.
There will be three men’s divisions – A-grade, reserve grade and under-19, which replaces under-20 which has been played for the past seven years.
Two Gladstone teams - Wallabys and Tannum Sands - have expressed interest in joining the women’s competition, which will be contested by Rockhampton Brothers, Yeppoon, Emu Park, Norths and Fitzroy/Gracemere.
Johns said it was exciting to have football back.
“The cancellation of the 2020 season had a huge impact financially but it had to be done. The protocols the QRL had put in place were just too demanding on the limited volunteers associated with the game,” he said.
Johns expected the majority of rugby league players to return this year, despite a number of them trying different codes last year.
“The numbers are encouraging. There was a concern we would lose some players, and it’s hard because a lot of people don’t sign on until a few weeks before the season starts,” he said.
“That’s why it’s imperative that we lock in the draw and get it out there to show that we are going ahead this year and people can commit to the season.
“At this stage, registrations are looking great. The team numbers are the same (as they would have been last year); we’re going to have five teams in A-grade, six in reserve grade and six in under-19.
“We’ve decided to go back to under-19 again to try to get some younger players involved.”
Johns said he was looking forward to players getting back on the field and playing the game they love.
“They definitely missed their football. The biggest feedback we got was don’t cancel 2021, we want to play,” he said.