Clubs asked to see the big picture and support Dragons

ROSEWOOD Roosters and Lowood Stags have been urged to embrace the Valley United Dragons concept for the betterment of the game and its players.

The QT reported yesterday how Lowood and Rosewood clubs do not want to be part of the amalgamated Dragons club that also includes Laidley.

Jack Rhea, the Ipswich Rugby League (IRL) chairman, said the decision to form the Dragons has not been taken by the IRL.

It is a decision taken by the Rugby League Ipswich management committee, of which he is one delegate on a board of seven members.

Mr Rhea said the combined Dragons side was "all about giving players a pathway" and that Lowood, Rosewood and Laidley "haven't got a big enough base to support a premier club like Brothers".

"But you put the three of them together and they have got the biggest junior base in the competition.

"With their seniors ... they could have a reserve grade and under-19s this year and next year an A grade and hopefully get down to 17s. They could have fed into this Valleys club, which is still a country club.

"All the blokes who play C grade now have got the opportunity to play in an A grade competition and play for the (Ipswich) Jets.

"Then we have got our deal going with the Broncos and they have an opportunity to get picked up by the Broncos.

"I always pictured this going ahead with everybody happy and kicking their heels up, not with continual fighting from August last year until April this year and it still hasn't been put to bed."

Stags president Mark Leahy said the club put forward a proposal for Lowood to field an A grade side and Rosewood a reserve grade with both wearing local club colours and being self sufficient. The proposal was for Rosewood and Lowood to play as a joint under-19 side with the funding, training venue and club kit up for further discussion.

"It was a proposal that would have seen us working collaboratively together but still maintaining our identity," he said.

"We have a history of working with each other with different teams and structures over many years. But we got a letter from the management committee saying it didn't meet their criteria, they couldn't accept it.

Mr Rhea said Mr Leahy's suggestion was very similar to the Valley United Dragons concept that the management committee was backing. "All we are saying to them is to put on a different jersey and do it as Valleys Dragons," he said.

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