Much closer ties with the Jets will be essential for IJRL
THE success of the Ipswich Jets this season has brought Ipswich league into prominence for all the right reasons.
So it is no surprise returning Ipswich Junior Rugby League chairman David Nugent sees it as a perfect opportunity for the junior body to take advantage.
Nugent expects more kids to show an interest in league as a result and he knows the IJRL has to do all it can to accommodate them.
"With the excitement created by the Jets in recent times we are expecting a lot of kids to be interested in rugby league like never before in 2016," he said.
"I believe we are in a good place right now to advance our position as the winter sport of choice for families."
The Jets have proven they can provide a pathway from the Ipswich Junior Rugby League to the National Rugby League, so Nugent knows it would be foolish not to get on board.
The Ipswich under 16 (Cyril Connell Cup) and under 18 (Mal Meninga Cup) teams were named Jets teams for the first time this season.
But a disagreement, purportedly over coaching philosophies, saw the Jets withdraw funding for the program next year and the teams will not be known as Jets teams in 2016.
Nugent believes this was a step backwards for the promotion of rugby league in the region. He would like to see even younger representative teams operating under the Jets logo.
"The Jets success was fantastic," Nugent said. "And my feeling we should be working more closely with them."