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



Silver confronted on scary bushland drive

FRIGHTENED: Cr Kerry Silver was threatened by a man in the same area as where Jim and Mitch Dodrill were savagely bashed on Sunday.

Councillor cut off by aggressive lout near scene of Dodrill bashing

Police recover vehicles on Warrego Hwy after horror smash

Motorists are urged to avoid the Warrego Hwy near Minden, heading towards Brisbane.

An elderly man suffered critical injuries

Local Partners

Wonder Woman sequel underway

IT’S MADE $US573 million at the box office so far, so it’s no surprise plans are already underway for a Wonder Woman sequel.

MasterChef: Fish fry feast too much for Ipswich cook

Willowbank native Nicole Stevenson has been eliminated from MasterChef.

NICOLE Stevenson narrowly misses out on MasterChef's Top 10.

Thor on holiday: Chris Hemsworth is here!

If you didn't know who he was - you'd think he was a local

Nintendo set to release the Super NES Classic Edition

Nintendo is releasing a miniature version of their Super NES console

Brad and Sienna spotted ‘holding hands’

Brad Pitt has been spotted at Glastonbury.

ACTORS were seen together at the Glastonbury festival.

Big Brother winner Reggie Bird could end up homeless

BACK in 2003 she won the third season of Big Brother Australia, pocketing $250,000 for her win — but Reggie Bird’s life has been far from easy since then.

The reality star makes a heartbreaking confession

Schapelle Corby's Bali boyfriend 'lonely' now she's free

“I really hope we can see each other again in the future."

Island caretaker has weeks to live, abandons paradise

St Bees managing director Phil Webb, has been struck with illness and it has prompted the sale of the island.

His health has deteriorated in the past couple of months

Prime CBD site sold as laneway culture progresses

The Longs building Ruthven Street has been purchased by a group of investors to be renovated into a series of shops/eateries.  June 2017

How investors and council plan to transform the Toowoomba CBD

Gateway opens to $3b Coast mega estate

VISION: An artist's impression of the Palmview development 'Harmony' and its linear park.

New road provides link from the past to the future

Major German supermarket set to open in southeast Queensland

German supermarket giant Kaufland is understood to have approached southeast Queensland councils about a possible distribution centre, which would kickstart the establishment of new supermarkets.

Supermarket giant Kaufland has its eyes firmly on Queensland.

Confident first half year for commercial property

SIGNS OF CONFIDENCE: A mixed-use site at 139 Eumundi Rd, Noosaville, was one of the outstanding results achieved in the year.

Sunshine Coast market showing strong signs for next five years

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!