A COMPOSITE club, the Barbarian Hogs, will play in this year's Lower Mid North Coast (LMNC) Rugby Union competition in the place of Forster-Tuncurry.
This was confirmed today (Wednesday July 7) by Mid North Coast chief executive, Bob Wilson and will make six sides in the premiership.
The Barbarian players will come from Upper Mid North Coast clubs as this competition won't be going ahead this year. However, Mr Wilson stressed it won't be a stacked side.
"They will be competitive and won't be cannon fodder,'' he said.
"This is good for rugby and a huge boost for the game on the Mid North Coast.''
Mr Wilson said the side's roster would be closely monitored by the zone.
The Barbarian Hogs will play home games in Port Macquarie
Mr Wilson said the Barbarians will be eligible to play in the final series. Under LMNC rules the winner of the major semi-final hosts the grand final. However, Mr Wilson advised that the LMNC grand finals will be played in this area and not at a northern venue, even if the Hogs qualify first.
Forster Tuncurry withdrew from the competition last week citing concerns with COVID-19 restrictions along with player numbers.
The Barbarian Hogs are due to meet Gloucester at Gloucester in the opening round on Saturday. However, team spokesman Teale Bryan said because of the short notice this may not go ahead.
"We'll probably share the points,'' he said.
This would mean the team's first match will be against Manning Ratz at Taree Rugby Park on Saturday July 18.