Confusion surrounds this year's Indigenous All Stars event between Group 11 and Group 10 but there is hope the matches can still go ahead in 2021.
The fixtures - first grade, league tag, and juniors - between the two competitions were originally meant to be played last weekend at Cowra before it was announced last month a mid-season fixture was more likely.
Group 10 chairman Linore Zamparini announced this week the event now wouldn't go ahead at all, but his Group 11 counterpart Bob Walsh hasn't given up on it yet.
Walsh feels the matches are still a chance to be played later in the year, adding all the kits had already been purchased so it makes sense to try and get what is such a special event for so many to go ahead.
Zamparini and Walsh also differed on the reason for the cancellation of the match, with the former saying Group 11 "struggled with players and numbers" while the latter said both were battling and it was Group 10 which was unable to put together a league tag side.
"We were having a hard time too but we probably could have made it work. Unfortunately, it's not on the calendar this year, which is shame, because it's a great fixture," Zamparini stated.
Justin Toomey-White was locked in as captain-coach of the Group 11 first grade Indigenous outfit and had previously spoken about how meaningful the chance play the match was.
"It will be awesome. It gives others a chance to represent our families, culture and our communities," he said.
Group 11 will have its own Indigenous All Stars event this season while there will also be an Indigenous round.
All eyes are now on the fast-approaching opening round of the 2021 Group 11 season on the first weekend of May.
While excitement is growing for kick-off, Walsh admitted there was still come trepidation following NSW Rugby League's announcement last month that Group 11 and Group 10 would come together in some way for a new-look competition next season.
Rumours have been swirling for weeks about what the competition could look like but nothing is set in stone yet, with NSWRL officials set to start meeting with the region's clubs shortly.
Feedback and ideas will be received there before more concrete plans are announced on June 15.
Walsh, who is a NSWRL board member, reiterated that clubs won't be forced to move into competitions but added change is definitely coming on one way or another and playing in a new-look premier competition for the region's best might be too hard for some.
"There's a lot of apprehension about what's going to happen but like I've said, a lot of it is ill-informed," Walsh said.
"Nothing happens unless the clubs are in. Clubs like Narromine and Nyngan will not be forced to go anywhere but maybe they won't get the opportunity to play in the top comp.
"We don't want to force them if they can't afford to do anything, player or finance wise."
Zamparini also spoke about the importance of speaking to all involved in the game in the coming weeks.
"We're still not 100 per cent up to speed on it but we're going to know a lot more about procedure and structure soon," he said.
"All the clubs will be talked to individually. That's not just one or two people at the clubs, that's all the stakeholders involved."
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