Tumbarumba leave Group Nine looking for greener pastures in new competition

WALKING AWAY: Tumbarumba have announced they will leave Group Nine to play in the Murray League in 2018.
WALKING AWAY: Tumbarumba have announced they will leave Group Nine to play in the Murray League in 2018.

Tumbarumba has shocked the Group Nine competition by signalling their intent to play in a different competition in 2018.

The Greens have applied to play in the Murray League this season as they look to continue a proud tradition of rugby league in the town.

Faced with either folding or finding another competition due to a large player turnover, captain-coach Robbie Byatt said the border-based competition was their best option.

“We had to make a decision,” Byatt said. “It is something we didn’t want to do, but it is tough up here.

“To keep the club going, and to try and build ourselves back up again, we will hopefully go into that comp but we have to be accepted first.

“Hopefully the club can try and get back on its feet again and build some interest.”

Byatt said the team, who finished above last-placed Cootamundra on points differential, had lost 10 players from 2017. 

Financially they are sound but employment opportunities made it hard to sustain Group Nine involvement.

Tumbarumba captain-coach Robbie Byatt confirmed the Greens are looking to move into the Murray League next season.

Tumbarumba captain-coach Robbie Byatt confirmed the Greens are looking to move into the Murray League next season.

“Financially we are fine and you could buy all these players in, but then you have to find them work and housing,” he said. “At the moment there is not a lot of work.”

The club voted on Wednesday night, then they informed the Group Nine board, and are waiting to hear back from the Murray League.

It has left the Group Nine draw, which features a weekly bye, into disarray.

The season was set to start on April 7 with the grand final on September 8.

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