HASTINGS Valley Vikings will maintain their status as defending Upper Mid North Coast Rugby Union premiers for another 12 months.
Following Kempsey Cannonballs' and then Port Macquarie Pirates' withdrawal from the competition due to a lack of player numbers, the Vikings have decided a three-team competition wasn't worthwhile.
A combined Group 3 rugby league Barbarians team proposal featuring the best rugby league players from the Hastings was rejected in a last-minute attempt to save the season.
Mid North Coast zone executive officer Bob Wilson was disappointed to have to abandon the season as the Vikings were celebrating their 25th anniversary.
But he couldn't approve the Barbarians proposal.
"It won't be happening because NSW Country Rugby Union won't support it; it's not a circus," Mr Wilson said.
"The idea has got merit for an exhibition match, but in the short timeframe we have and being in a proper competition it won't be happening."
Brief discussions were had on Thursday evening before Mr Wilson knocked the concept on the head, citing player welfare concerns.
"It'd be dangerous in the scrums; blokes could break their necks," he said
"Set piece play in rugby is a lot better than rugby league."
The Vikings decision to pull their senior teams out of a proposed three-team competition alongside Coffs Harbour and Southern Cross University could also filter down to their junior grades.
Club president David Barnes said the decision to withdraw was a difficult one.
"It was one of the worst days of my life coming to that decision, but as a whole club we made it that we weren't supportive of a three-team comp," he said.
"We're a rugby club; we're in it to play rugby so if there's a half-assed three-team comp, are you going to get the players?"
"It was probably going to be a step backwards so it was best we cut out losses for this year and start fresh for next year.
He said it was a disappointing way to celebrate the club's 25th anniversary.
"It's our 25th year, but not our 25th season so we'll move it onto next year," he said.
"It worked for the Olympics where they moved from every four years to a fifth year because it's just the way things are at the moment."
Hastings Valley have advised the zone they will have a meeting on Monday to discuss whether their junior teams will compete in season 2020.
"As far as player numbers are concerned, they're all for it," Barnes said.
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