Why a new Intrust side in Wide Bay could hurt Gympie
Rugby League: A proposed Intrust Super Cup Wide Bay side could leave the Gympie Devils short on players.
Gympie Devils president Darren Burns said a team in Wide Bay would be great but the issue would be U20s.
Two Gympie players are in the Sunshine Coast Falcons U20s side with the Devils A-grade side struggling to field a team.
"It would depend on the set-up but we could lose our u19s and 20s players because they think they have to play in the U20s to make into in the Intrust A-grade,” Burns said.
"I would be proud of our players being selected for the Intrust A-grade side, I would wish them all the best.
"Our local competition would be better without these U20s. If the Intrust clubs can field a team from their local clubs, then that's great. But when they can't make the numbers and are scouting them from their neighbouring region, that's when it is a problem.”
Devils coach Bob Leitch said a Wide Bay team would be the "missing link” for the region.
"You have Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton and then a huge gap to the Sunshine Coast,” Leitch said.
"This team could be that missing link between Rocky and the Coast.
"It would be great for the Burnett region, Hervey and Bundaberg for players having an opportunity close to home rather than moving away.”
Wide Bay would need to sustain a seven-figure franchise to have a team break into the Intrust Super Cup.
"The funding and sponsorship for this team would have to come from somewhere. It isn't NRL level but it is steep,” Leitch said.