President's Cup champions Maitland would consider joining a statewide Ron Massey Cup in 2021 after the new concept was officially unveiled by NSW Rugby League on Monday.
Still celebrating a narrow grand final victory on the weekend and their minor-major title double, Pickers president Frank Lawler and coach Matt Lantry said they haven't ruled out another crack in a different competition next year.
Maitland entered the one-off President's Cup, which featured a mixture of regional and metropolitan teams from across the state, earlier this year when Newcastle Rugby League remained an uncertain starter and later reverted to amateur status on the back of the global coronavirus pandemic.
Details about the usually Sydney-based Ron Massey Cup have yet to be finalised, outside the inclusion of Fijian side the Kaiviti Silktails, but NSWRL have begun the "process of canvassing expressions of interest".
"We'd certainly look at it. We just need to see what all the competitions look like," Lawler said.
Lantry reckons "it's not off the table" but the Pickers would need "due diligence" around "what that would cost" and "how it would impact a first grade side back in Newcastle".
He said Maitland's successful President's Cup campaign, capped off with a 17-16 win over Glebe Burwood Wolves at Bankwest Stadium on Sunday, would "help us better understand what it takes" to potentially contest the Ron Massey Cup.
Cessnock, who have featured in six of Newcastle RL's previous 12 deciders, contemplated joining the President's Cup alongside Maitland in 2020 but the move didn't eventuate.
Foundation club Western Suburbs have claimed the most silverare in Newcastle RL, winning four of the last eight major titles and 23 overall. Major backers The Wests Group took over ownership of NRL franchise the Knights in 2017.
Newcastle RL's Rebels representative squad have played against a Ron Massey Cup select team the last two years and on both occasions combined to form the NSW Pioneers.
NSWRL provided a statement about the proposed blueprint for the state's competitions. This follows a merger between the governing body and Country Rugby League at the end of 2019.
"It's a strategic priority for both us and the NRL that we have competitions with a statewide footprint," a NSWRL spokesperson said.
"It's important that following the merger, we introduce competitions that cross traditional boundaries and integrate clubs from across the state.
"The Ron Massey competition is the most appropriate and cost effective competition to do this in."
Junior age groups have been changed with Harold Matthews, SG Ball and Jersey Flegg (boys) all increasing one year to under 17s, under 19s and under 21s respectively. Tarsha Gale Cup (girls) goes up to under 19s.
NSWRL also announced a restructure of the state into six zones. The current Newcastle and Central Coast region has 96 clubs.
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