WE’RE BACK: Fraser Coast Mariners player Kale Hendle kicks for touch last year. The side returns to the Spring Cup this season for the first time since 2010.
WE’RE BACK: Fraser Coast Mariners player Kale Hendle kicks for touch last year. The side returns to the Spring Cup this season for the first time since 2010.

Spring Cup expands for new season as Mariners come to play

UNION: This year’s Bundaberg Spring Cup will include the Fraser Coast Mariners.

Rugby Bundaberg has confirmed details of the new season, which will start on October 12 and include five sides in the competition.

Last year’s premiers the Bundaberg Pythons return alongside the Turtles Brothers and the Bundaberg West Barbarians who competed last year.

The Waves Falcons are back after missing a year with a lack of players and will be joined by the Fraser Coast Mariners.

The Mariners, from Hervey Bay, come back to the Spring Cup for the first time since 2010 after playing in the Sunshine Coast competition from 2011 to last year.

“It’s fantastic to have them back,” Rugby Bundaberg president Luke McCloskey said.

“They are a quality side and to have them back into the competition should raise the level of rugby.”

But the addition of the Mariners and Falcons comes at the loss of the Isis Crushers.

The Childers side won’t play this season after indicating it won’t have the numbers.

It follows the side forfeiting multiple games late in last year’s season.

“We were given a notification by the president of Isis early that they couldn’t get a team for this season,” McCloskey said.

“Last month we did not hear back from them so we had to move forward with the competition.”

McCloskey said he would work hard with the club to bring them back like what has happened with the Falcons.

The president said he was confident The Waves side could be competitive after years of struggles with getting players.

“Matt Clarkson is now the club president and he said the team has adequate numbers ahead of the new season,” he said.

“We also have key performance indicators in place to make sure the club can be competitive.

“The Waves Falcons is quite a strong club in Bundaberg so it is integral for us they are in the competition.”

The competition structure is expected to see everyone play each other five times, with byes, before finals are held.

But it will be finalised when the draw is released this week.

One change is some games will be held in Hervey Bay this year as part of the agreement with the Fraser Coast Mariners returning.

Find more on the Spring Cup draw and union in the NewsMail later this week.



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