Sport

Merge order

Brian Canavan
Brian Canavan Sarah Harvey

THE Ipswich Rugby League will look a whole lot different in the near future.

On Monday night rugby league consultant Brian Canavan presented his recommendations to a meeting of IRL club delegates.

They included the merger of the Springfield Panthers and Redbank Plains Bears to form one club, and Laidley Lions, Lowood-Tarampa Stags and Rosewood Roosters to form another.

The plan is to have them complement the existing six A grade clubs in 2014 across all three grades (A grade, Reserve grade and under-18).

But IRL chairman Jack Rhea hopes to have the mergers in place for next season, with the newly-merged clubs contesting the Reserve grade competition in 2013. "Brian Canavan had a look at our comp and how we can improve it," Rhea said. "He made some recommendations we can follow, hopefully for next year.

"The established clubs are going alright. It's the others that are struggling."

Where to fit in the Springfield, Redbank Plains, Laidley, Lowood-Tarampa and Rosewood clubs has been a headache for the IRL for many years.

Springfield, Redbank Plains and Laidley have all been A grade teams at one point but couldn't maintain the standards and criteria required.

The Challenge Cup competition was introduced last year to cater for them. It was a success in its first year but fell apart this season with the withdrawal of the Bears and Roosters.

"It will be good if we can get the three country sides together," Rhea said. "Maybe initially as a Reserve grade side to one of the struggling (A grade) clubs from last season."

So potentially a combined Rosewood, Lowood-Tarampa, Laidley team could play as the Reserve grade team for West End next season. "Laidley and Rosewood are for it," Rhea said. "Lowood are a bit apprehensive."

Previous attempts to get the three country clubs to merge, or even two of them, have come to nought due to existing club loyalties. But Rhea said they will have no choice this time.

He admitted it would be easier to enforce the mergers now as it comes with the stamp of approval from the QRL, who appointed Canavan to conduct the review into the IRL structure.

"Every year we put it to the clubs and they say 'next year, next year'," Rhea said.

"But next year never comes.

"We've got to take away the easy options. It's coming from the (QRL south east) division.

"They've offered support if clubs amalgamate, administratively and probably with money.

"We expect it will be the same with the eastern suburbs clubs (Springfield and Redbank Plains)."

Keep reading the QT for the response from the affected clubs.

Grand Plans

2013: Lowood-Tarampa, Laidley and Rosewood clubs to merge to form one Reserve grade team and Springfield and Redbank Plains another. They will act as single-season replacements for the Reserve grade teams of two of the weaker 2012 Reserve grade teams.

2014: Merged clubs to create eight team A grade, Reserve grade and under-18 competitions.

Vote in our Poll and tell us your thoughts on the proposed mergers in our Comments section below.

Topics:  ipswich rugby league laidley lions lowood-tarampa stags redbank plains bears rosewood roosters springfield panthers



LIVE: Ipswich Jets v Sunshine Coast Falcons

LIVE ACTION: Take our poll below on who will win between the Ipswich Jets and Sunshine Coast Falcons Intrust Super Cup clash at North Ipswich Reserve.

Intrust Super Cup live from North Ipswich Reserve

GALLERY: CMC Rocks day two off to cracking start

Traveling performers the Crack Up Sisters mingled with the crows at the CMC Rocks Queensland.

There are already thousands of punters enjoying the music.

Sister swap lands Ipswich man perfect match

HALF CENTURY: Vic and Jeanette Haselich are celebrating 50-years since their wedding day on March 25, 1967.

'I started dating her sister but then swapped'

Local Partners

Beer in boot makes lasting impression at CMC Rocks

American country star Tyler Farr treats his CMC Rocks debut performance like “an audition for Australia”

Our Caitlyn a No.1 hit at CMC Music Awards

RISING STAR: Caitlyn Shadbolt at the CMC Music Awards on the Gold Coast.

Caitlyn Shadbolt enjoys one of the most exciting weeks of her career

Steve ventures into the wild unknown on epic mission

Steve Backshall pictured along the Baliem River in a scene from Extreme River Challenge.

Wildlife presenter Steve Backshall tackles wild river challenge.

COMMENT: Happy to see Ipswich rock on

Grammy nominated singer Cam hits the stage at the CMC Rocks festival at Willowbank on Saturday.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

I'd better get tickets for 2018

Star's intimate show gets CMC festival off to flying start

Granger Smith.

"They were a bit rowdy, in a good way," says Granger Smith.

CMC sparks romance story

COUNTRY LOVE: Taylah Wheildon, 20, and Brock Woods, 26, who got engaged during the first set of day one of CMC Rocks with the help of Doug Bruce and The Tailgaters (pictured right).

Boyfriend gets Doug Bruce in on the act

TV Insider: MKR has lost its recipe for success

My Kitchen Rules judges Colin Fassnidge and Pete Evans with guest judge Curtis Stone, right.

MKR needs a shake (up) of more than just the sauce bottle.

Ipswich's inner-city suburbs led the way in 2016

HOT PROPERTY: Areas close to the Ipswich CBD continue to be popular with buyers.

Median sales price drops in popular Ipswich suburb.

Rising to the occasion

Queensland Deputy Premier, Jackie Trad, opens Springfield's newest development, Springfield Rise.

Deputy Premier officially launches Springfield's newest development

Launch of brand and opening of new office

Brett Graham, Tony Warland and Dan Smith celebrate the new Ray White office opening in Burnett St, Buderim.

Ray White celebrate expansion

An extraordinary offering

The talk of town

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!