In a landmark decision, the New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL) and Country Rugby League (CRL) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which will involve formal discussions in relation to a possible merger that would see Rugby League in NSW governed by one body for the first time in more than 80 years.
The NSWRL Chief Executive David Trodden and CRL Chief Executive Terry Quinn made the announcement after both organisations signed to work towards the merger by 2020.
The merger would allow for significantly more combined resources to deliver Rugby League programs and competitions across the whole state.
The NSWRL and CRL have assured all existing staff that their employment is secure.
"This announcement is a major step forward for the game in New South Wales,” CRL CEO Terry Quinn said.
"CRL and NSWRL have always been committed to advancing the state of the game in both metropolitan and regional areas and we're pleased to be working alongside NSWRL seeking to create a merged governing body that will continue to serve in the best interests of clubs, participants and volunteers at all levels."
David Trodden said: “It’s a particularly significant day in the history of Rugby League in this state. The CRL and NSWRL have been working closely together for many years and at the start of next year will be moving together into our new Centre of Excellence.
Both acknowledged the role of Jim Doyle in the merger process and said this showed strength in league across NSW.