Group Three Rugby League has adopted a player points grading system for the 2019 season that is aimed at encouraging clubs to cultivate local talent.
This was adopted at the annual meeting of the East Coast Region held at Coffs Harbour. This system will apply to Groups Two and Three and the Northern Rivers Region Rugby League (NRRRL).
Under the plan each Group Three and Group Two club will be allocated 1500 points for 17 first grade players. It will be 2000 points in the NRRL.
Any player aged over 18 will be graded and this will be based on where the player comes from and what he’s achieved in rugby league.
“For example, Todd Carney, who is playing in Byron Bay next year, would have a grading of 800 points,’’ Group Three chairman Wayne Bridge explained.
Players from outside the area will be rewarded for their loyalty to clubs, with discounts available for years of service.
“We see it as a way to encourage clubs to look after their juniors,’’ Mr Bridge added.
However, Wingham’s Mick Sullivan won’t get a high grading despite the fact he enjoyed a successful career in the NRL and the English Super League.
Sullivan will captain-coach Wingham for the next two years. He started playing rugby league with Wingham and advanced to senior grades before heading to Sydney.
“Mick is a local junior who is returning to his home club and that’s what he will be graded on,’’ Mr Bridge said.
Clubs will be hit by the loss of competition points for breaching the system.
Points for imported players will start at 200, progressing to 800, judged on the player’s career. An 800 point player will be a State of Origin representative or who has played test football for Australia, England or New Zealand.
Mr Bridge is confident clubs won’t be seriously disadvantaged by the system.
“At the annual meeting we had the example of the two Port Macquarie clubs from our grand final last season,’’ he said. “Under this system one would have tallied 1200 points and the other 900.’’
He added the matter had been discussed at the Group Three annual meeting this month.