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The NSWRL and Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in consultation with Group 2 and 3 executives have decided to trial a combined North Coast Under 15s competition for 2022.

The competition will feature 10 teams split into North and South pools with clubs able to play across traditional Group boundaries to facilitate the best quality Rugby League opportunities and outcomes for all players.

The proposal includes clubs playing in four “Bulldogs Challenge” cross-over rounds against clubs on a similar position on the ladder.

“The North Coast Under 15s competition will provide expanded opportunities for matches across the region and make the Rugby League experience more competitive for all participants,” NSWRL League and Club Support co-ordinator Daniel Tempest said.

“Group 2 had four teams nominate for the 15s competition this season; three of these teams are very strong and played with the Group 3 clubs last year.

“Formalising and planning a comp to provide the best opportunities for all players in this age group is a great step forward and will hopefully see more players stay in the game for longer.”

Group 3 Junior Rugby League President Warren Blissett said: “We believe the whole of region will support clubs at both ends of the coast more well-balanced matches.”

Bulldogs Development and Pathways Manager David Hamilton said: “The Bulldogs see the North Coast Under 15s competition as a great way to see players compete in a quality competition across the region.

“The competition will also provide a valuable pathway for players who will be eligible to play for the North Coast Bulldogs in the SLE Andrew Johns Cup in 2023.”

The NSWRL will provide travel support and assistance in any instance that travel exceeds 150km each way with only one or two games expected to be affected during the season.