Newcastle Rugby League chief executive officer Matt Harris said the next step would be working towards a single administration for the sport in the Hunter region following Friday's historic vote to create one state governing body.
Harris said eventually streamlining the four main local entities - Newcastle RL, Newcastle and Hunter Rugby League, Newcastle Junior Rugby League Association and Maitland District Schoolboys Rugby League - would be in line with what NSW Rugby League (NSWRL) and Country Rugby League (CRL) achieved in their landmark merger.
Harris, who described the move between the NSWRL and CRL as a "significant moment in the game", feels the flow-on effect from the unanimous decision in Sydney would also be beneficial closer to home.
"We've supported a single-spine structure for the last four years and we continue to have that goal," Harris told the Newcastle Herald.
"It's not too different to what's just happened at state level between NSWRL and CRL. There are big advantages to that."
Newcastle RL had membership with NSWRL officially approved on Friday, having only been affiliated with the group in 2018 and 2019 after opting to leave the CRL.
Harris said the state merger would have minimal impact on Newcastle RL competitions next year, outside potential subtle changes, but added there may be move to room beyond 2020.
"The first part was getting today [state merger vote] over the line," he said.
"That allows everybody to get together and get on the same page, then we can work out what's going to happen next."
In the senior representative ranks, Harris expected the Newcastle Rebels to continue their relationship with the Ron Massey Cup while the existing NSW Country Championships format is set to stay as men's under 23s and ladies league tag.
Overall, Harris said it had been a "positive day" for rugby league in the state.
CRL chairman John Anderson was elected onto the new NSWRL board along with the appointment of CRL chief executive Terry Quinn.
The CRL, now dissolved, was first formed in 1934.