Macquarie coach Steve Kidd said he's further ahead with next year's roster than anticipated but remains unsure if the Scorpions will have the services of former NRL player Paul Carter.
The Toronto club didn't field any senior men's teams in Newcastle Rugby League competitions for 2020, only under 19s, instead opting to sit out and regroup in the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic.
Kidd said the bulk of Macquarie's top 25 players have either "re-signed or committed" to run around at Lyall Peacocok Field again in 2021 following this year's hiatus.
However, pre-season recruit Carter, who arrived at the Scorpions fresh from a grand final appearance with Cessnock, may not don the green and gold uniform.
"I'm not sure about Carts. He's living back in Sydney and has a job in the tunnels. He might still travel up and play. I'm hopeful, but we'll just have to wait and see," Kidd said.
The likes of Liam Higgins, Andy Sumner and Bobby Treacy are among those to indicate they will stay at Macquarie while Royce Geoffrey (Dora Creek) and Rob Buserau (Hunter Wildfires) are currently playing elsewhere but have signalled they will return.
Ron Massey Cup representative prop Joseph Gardiner (Guildford) is also in.
"I thought it might have been a bit tougher to get blokes to play, but so far so good," Kidd said.
Kidd coached Canterbury's Kerrod Holland, who announced his retirement from the NRL on Wednesday, at Cessnock in 2014.
While you're with us, did you know the Newcastle Herald offers breaking news alerts, daily email newsletters and more? Keep up to date with all the local news - sign up here
IN THE NEWS:
- NRL: Former Knights star Jarrod Mullen in bold bid for comeback after drugs ban
- A-League: Topor-Stanley's 30-metre screamer awarded goal of the year
- NNSW WPL: Eagles part ways with head coach ahead of Olympic clash
- Rugby Union: Knee injury spells end of campaign for Wildfires fly-half
- Racing: James McDonald doubles down for blueblood wins at Newcastle