WANDERERS will take on Western Sydney for the Two Blues Cup each pre-season as part of a sister relationship forged between the two clubs.
The clubs share the same colours and Two Blues moniker and now will share resources and ideas.
Among a most of initiatives, Wanderers coaching staff will visit Western Sydney (formerly Parramatta) in the pre-season.
The clubs will also play for the Two Blues Cup each March.
"It's nice to have a sister club in another region that we can bounce ideas off," Wanderers coach Dan Beckett said. "It's not just on the field, where we can learn from each other. We have been welcomed down there for some coaching and we are looking to share what we know about how to run a club. It's a win-win for everyone."
Wanderers played a trial against Parramatta in 2017 and in recent seasons players have moved between the clubs.
Marcus Christensen played for Parramatta in 2017 and Hayden Cole, who is also playing for the Hunter Wildfires, joined Wanderers this season.
The association also creates a pathway for juniors, if the Hunter Wildfires' participation in the Sydney competition doesn't extend beyond this season.
"It's no secret that we have lost a lot of really good juniors to Sydney teams," Beckett said. "We just want what is best for our kids, in terms of rugby. Establishing ties with a Shute Shield team has to be good for us. We are not going to stand in the way of developing kids. We are looking at the big picture and hoping we can make Wanderers better."
Western Sydney general manager Craig Morgan said the partnership would be beneficial for both clubs.
"Wanderers are one of the most respected and strongest clubs in Newcastle and we have some mutual contacts and existing relationships, so this is a great opportunity to further develop a mutually rewarding and beneficial association," he said. "By working together, sharing knowledge and resources, creating opportunity and experiences between the two clubs and club members we will all benefit."
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