GROUP Three Rugby League will break from tradition by playing the final and grand final on a Saturday next year.
This was decided at the annual meeting held at the Wingham Services Club.
The group has never played the major end-of-season games on a Saturday before, with Sunday always the preferred day.
"It's something we've been talking about for a couple of years and the clubs were happy to go with it,'' group chief executive officer Mal Drury said.
Clubs believe a Saturday would be preferable for players and sponsors along with spectators.
The group will run a two round competition, kicking off on April 23 and 24, with the final on Saturday, September 17 and the grand final Saturday, September 24. This will be nearly a month later than the 2019 grand final - the last year Group Three played a finals series. The 2020 season was cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions while this year was cut short when the State went into full lockdown on Saturday, August 14.
Mr Drury said clubs weren't keen to start earlier in April, as had been mooted. He added that Group Three referees will be attending a coaching camp on April 9 and 10, while Easter is the following weekend.
Wayne Bridge from Wingham was returned unopposed as chairman, with Geoff Kelly from Port City the senior vice chairman and Warren Blissett from Forster junior vice chairman. Mr Blissett is also the registrar.
There is one new face on the board, with Elly Markezic from Wauchope filling a vacancy. Ian Andrews from Taree, Geoff Kerr from Wingham and Jarad Woodhouse from Taree are the other directors.
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