The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs have formalised their support of Country Rugby League and the North Coast Region after signing a historic Memorandum of Understanding at Port Macquarie's Regional Stadium today.
The new partnership will see the creation of a representative development pathway for Group 2 and Group 3 Rugby League participants, with a clear visual link to the club throughout the North Coast.
The agreement will see the region competing as the 'North Coast Bulldogs' in CRL's Andrew Johns and Laurie Daley Cup Junior Representative and Men's Under-23's and Women's Country Championship competitions; along with Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs NRL Coaching and Development staff providing additional support to players, coaches and trainers in the North Coast CRL Representative Pathway through the creation of satellite programs and hosting of coaching updates throughout the season.
CRL East Coast Regional Area Manager Kevin Hill believes the partnership is a ground-breaking announcement for Rugby League on the North Coast.
"This is an amazing opportunity for participants on the North Coast to be part of an NRL club pathway, without having to leave the comfort and support of their hometowns, family and support networks," said Hill.
"This partnership will be highly beneficial for our players, coaches and trainers to have the support of such a powerful NRL club like the Bulldogs and validates the amazing opportunities available through our game on the North Coast."
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs CEO Andrew Hill said today's announcement was just the beginning of what he hopes will be a long-term relationship with the region.
"This is not just an exciting announcement for Country Rugby League participants on the North Coast and the Bulldogs, but the start of what we hope will be a productive and beneficial relationship for all stakeholders, junior and senior clubs, councils and schools throughout the region," said Hill.
"We have a broader responsibility to the game to provide opportunities for players and coaches from regional areas and we congratulate Country Rugby League for creating a structure that allows us to assist in creating a program that is mutually beneficial for everyone involved and helps to develop the game on the North Coast."