Dubbo Rhinos have echoed Orange Emus’ sentiments from earlier in the week, suggesting new regulations forcing clubs to field first grade, second grade and colts or be relegated to the second tier won’t be a problem for them in 2017.
Rhinos president Ian Burns said his club is very confident they will have the numbers for first and second grade as well as under 19s.
“It was quite widely known that at one stage, probably until the middle of last year, that we were keen to push for a two-team competition,” he said.
“By the time we finished the year, we believed we had done enough work to stay in the main competition. We’re extremely happy to be back in Blowes Clothing Cup and we will stay there.”
In their first season back in Blowes Clothing Cup the Rhinos showed some positive signs, and Burns believes they can build on that.
“We’ve done a bit of recruitment already so hopefully we will have some nice surprises and quality players. There’s a fair bit of the team from last year so that will add to it,” he said.
The coaching staff will again be spearheaded by Dave Stewart and Darren Taylor and includes a strong support team.
The biggest struggle for the Rhinos in 2016 was fielding a colts team but even there, the Dubbo team has made good inroads.
Burns said there were already a dozen players signed up, with more showing interest.