Meat Ants poised for a comeback in Western League
IN YEARS gone by, they were a premiership-winning side, and 2020 could be a return to the glory days for the Augathella Meat Ants - provided they can recruit a few more men for the team.
Club members and the Western Rugby League have been working hard behind the scenes to bring the club back to the field, and expand the local competition for the upcoming season, scheduled to run through March.
The club's WRL representative Dan Nunn told the Western Times the whole region is backing the small clubs - both Augathella and Quilpie - to run a full competition for the first time since 2017.
"Blokes who have come to town and haven't played for us previously have approached us, and some who have played for us in previous years have committed to playing for Charleville and Cunnamulla, but we have some interest there, and if we can get five or six more, we can get going," Nunn said.
"As long as we can get even the bare bones of a team out on to the paddock, we will play."
To keep it running, the senior competition is looking to their junior counterparts, who will often fill in on other towns' sides when they're in need of an extra player or two.
Nunn said the 2020 season could become a collaborative effort, with the odd Charleville man playing for another side.
"All of the teams here are pretty close knit, and we have already spoken about helping each other out if any teams need extra players on the day, they will be happy to help out," he said.
"We realise we have to be fairly flexible in our competition to make it work, and if we get enough blokes committed to our club, the others will certainly help out."
The 2020 Western Rugby League is running from March 7-28, so as not to clash with the Roma and District Competition, where a number of local players extend their own season.
The clubs have also opened online sign-on for their junior players in all four towns.