Plans progress for Valleys Dragons

FORMER RIVALS: Lowood Stags taking on the Laidley Lions on Ipswich Rugby League Grand Final Day in the Challenge Cup game.
FORMER RIVALS: Lowood Stags taking on the Laidley Lions on Ipswich Rugby League Grand Final Day in the Challenge Cup game. David Nielsen

THE future of senior rugby league for three clubs will be put on the table again next week.

After receiving news their senior team nominations for the 2015 season would not be accepted by the Ipswich Rugby League (IRL), the Lowood-Tarampa Stags and the Rosewood Roosters faced the tough decision to be part of the new Valleys Dragons team, representing Lowood, Laidley and Rosewood.

The clubs will gather in Lowood on Monday to cement a Valleys Dragons executive committee and finalise plans for a division two team.

Lowood-Tarampa Stags president Michelle Dixon said the governing body's decisions had left them no choice.

"It's a new AGM on Monday and all the clubs involved like Rosewood, Lowood, Laidley and Esk will have a chance to sit on the committee if they wish," Ms Dixon said.

Ms Dixon said the meeting also offers a chance for the wider community to be involved, but confirmed the Dragons concept would go ahead.

"We have to support it; we don't have a choice in the matter," she said.

"However, we will support the Valleys Dragons to the best of our ability as a club. If this doesn't get up and running we won't be able to field a 2nd division."

"Rosewood, Lowood and Laidley have been enemies on the field for so many years and it's hard to change that but it is something we need to try and combat."

Rosewood Roosters president Corey Bassett said his opinion had not changed but the reality of no 2015 senior side was sinking in.

"We had a meeting with our players and they only want to play with Rosewood," Mr Bassett said.

"We asked them, and encouraged them (to play for Valleys Dragons) but they didn't want to do it."

It's a situation the Laidley Lions know well, with no senior teams in recent years.

Laidley Lions Rugby League Club president Wendy Lillie said Laidley were willing to compromise with the other clubs in order to give their juniors a pathway to senior grade league once again.

"We've come up with some ideas including training at Laidley only so the players know where they need to train each week and to split the home games between the other two clubs," Ms Lillie said.

"Laidley are willing to forego the home game side of things this year, but next year sit down and reorganise it.

"We're just happy to give the kids one place to train."

The onus is on the three clubs to financially support the Dragons in 2015, despite IRL and QRL financial support for the combined U19 in 2014.

"They are looking at us as clubs to finance the Valleys Dragons," Lowood Stags president Michelle Dixon said.

"The IRL and QRL are not going to be putting money into it anymore.

"But, the IRL are planning on giving the clubs more home games to help out.

"It might affect us a little bit depending on how it is worked out and who will take what from what.

"But we are for the Valleys Dragons and are trying to get it off the ground, the way it happens is yet to be decided."

Topics:  laidley lions lowood tarampa stags rosewood roosters valleys dragons

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