Six junior rugby league teams that were booted from regular fixtures last week, after an allegation their sides had been illegally graded, will return to the field to face other clubs this weekend after the governing body lifted its suspension.
Newcastle Junior Rugby League overturned the punishment on Wednesday night after a meeting with Valentine Eleebana Junior Rugby League Football Club officials and representatives from NSW Rugby League.
The suspension was reversed without The Devils' Under-10 and Under-11 teams having to make any changes to the three sides in each age group.
Despite what appeared to be vindication for the club, which has all along denied any wrongdoing, a $2000 fine issued to The Devils in relation to the allegation was only halved on Wednesday night - rather than dropped completely.
NSW Rugby League refused to comment on why half the fine still stood when contacted by the Newcastle Herald on Thursday.
The Devils were told last week that their U10 and U11 teams would only play "intra" matches against each other for the remainder of the season, after Newcastle Junior Rugby League accused the club of secretly grading teams in those age groups - against a directive not to do so at the beginning of the season.
Those associated with the club said the teams were made up of many players who had taken the field together since the Under-6 age group and argued The Devils were being punished because they had been successful.
The club has a proud history as a rugby league nursery, with players including Paul Harragon, Brett Kimmorley, Michael Ennis, Brett Finch, Luke Burt and Adam Muir pulling on The Devils jumper at some point in their football careers.
President Matt Wallace said on Thursday the club was vindicated by the decision to overturn the suspension.
"We always maintained we followed the rules or the directive given by Newcastle Junior Rugby League," he said.
"We split the talent evenly to the best of our ability. We're satisfied we did do the right thing from day one."
Grant Duthie - a former high performance manager for South Sydney Rabbitohs and strength and conditioning coach with Newcastle Knights, who also worked in junior development for Australian Rugby Union - said he was glad "common sense prevailed" and his son would be able to run onto the field with his mates in one of the U10 teams this weekend.
NSWRL Head of Football Robert Lowrie said in a statement that all parties at Wednesday night's meeting resolved to "commit to working together to achieve the best results to maximise junior rugby league participation".
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