Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Rhinos Pull out of First Grade

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Rhinos Pull out of First Grade

Article excerpt

Byline: GARY NICHOLS Grafton Daily Examiner

THE Grafton Rhinos have taken Byron Bay's lead from last year and will only be fielding a reserve grade and under-18 side in the 2012 Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League competition.

Lack of early sponsorship and commitment from players has left the club with no alternative but to pull its first grade side from the competition.

Rhinos' reserve grade coach Eddie De Bono contacted the Examiner yesterday with the news which will affectively leave several first grade players without a club in 2012.

C[pounds sterling]We just held our first official committee meeting on Monday night after our emergency AGM,C[yen] De Bono said.

C[pounds sterling]We addressed a couple of issues Co how we were going with our sponsors and with our playing roster.

C[pounds sterling]We have decided not to go with a first grade team this season. The decision came down to player commitment and money.

C[pounds sterling]The players were all asking for extra money on top of what we had already done.C[yen]

According to De Bono, the club looked at every angle hoping to field three teams this season but in the end most first grade players were hesitant to put pen to paper.

C[pounds sterling]We approached every player from last season and they kept on keeping us in the dark and have been for too long,C[yen] De Bono said. C[pounds sterling]We just couldn't get them to commit.C[yen]

De Bono admits the last few weeks have tested the club's resolve but has no doubt the Rhinos can be successful this season without a first grade side on the paddock.

C[pounds sterling]We've had a successful team the last five years, the committee has been run fine and the players have been fine,C[yen] he said.

C[pounds sterling]We haven't had a lot of issues to contend with. …

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