ProTen Community Cup bringing Rugby League Back to Group 17 after 12 years

Updated: March 2, 2018

Photo supplied by – The Daily Advertiser

After twelve years without Rugby League, Group 17 has reformed with a new six-team competition. Towns including Ivanhoe, Hillston, Rankin Springs, Goolgowi, Barellan and Narrandera are taking part and news of the re-established clubs has brought the community together.

Bidgee Regional Area Manager David Skinner believes it gives towns a chance to play for themselves, rather than have players join bigger clubs in other groups.

“The competition doesn’t start until late May, which reflects the rural environment because the farmers tend to their crops during the April-May months,”

“The guys out here are playing for the social engagement and to represent their small community,” Skinner said.

“Goolgowi is a classic example, they had 50 people at their first training run including wives and children. The town is buzzing from it and I’m sure the other towns would be much the same.”

Ivanhoe, located six hours west of Dubbo, is the smallest and most remote community in Group 17 Rugby League. Skinner was surprised that the Ivanhoe Roosters were able to join the new competition.

“I thought to myself ‘Ivanhoe won’t field a team, there’s only 200 people living there’ but they did and now they’re playing in the new division which is fantastic.”

President of the Ivanhoe Roosters Mark Huntly is thrilled about his town taking part in the ProTen Community Cup.

“It’s good because we only got the news six weeks ago about starting a competition so I didn’t have much time to get people on board but I was surprised by all the young fellas who put their hand up to play,” said Huntly.

“The town itself got the news two weeks ago, and it has created a bit of excitement, there’s a good feeling around the town,” said Huntly.

“It’s great the way it’s been set up, with the League Safeplay, it gives the older guys an opportunity to put the boots on again too.”

Naming rights sponsors ProTen are contributing $8000 towards playing apparel for all the teams taking part.

The competition will start on the 25th of May and would see three games played in the one town over a single weekend.