ABC to call NRRRL grand final

Marist Brothers' Dylan Coleman in action against Ballina.
Marist Brothers' Dylan Coleman in action against Ballina. Northern Star

NORTHERN Rivers rugby league could be about to capture the hearts and minds of the state, with ABC Grandstand radio to broadcast a call of the NRRRL grand final on September 20.

Grandstand sports broadcaster David Morrow told his audience on Sunday night the ABC rugby league commentary team, including former top line coach Warren Ryan, would travel to the Northern Rivers region to cover the decider.

And with the Lower Clarence Magpies claiming the competition's minor premiership on Sunday, there is a good chance the Grandstand team will be at the Maclean Showground for the biggest game of the NRRRL season.

The Magpies can secure homeground advantage for the big match with a win in the major semi-final on September 6.

It is a scenario which would thrill Morrow, a former Valley resident.

“I used to live in Grafton when Tony Durkin was editor of The Daily Examiner,” Morrow said.

“And I remember Maclean being a beautiful spot to watch football ... a natural amphitheatre of sport.

“I was talking to ARL boss Geoff Carr the other day and he told me the ground is just the way I remember it, with a few little changes.”

With the venue of the grand final not set in stone, Morrow said there were still 'problems with logistics' surrounding the commentary team's line-up.

But if the Magpies make the grand final - and it is held at the Maclean Showground - expect a few famous local faces to support the usual Grandstand team.

“I'll have to put a call in and try to lure Brian Smith to come along,” Morrow said.

“Might have to get Carr to get down there as well.”

Magpies president Garry Anderson said the commitment by Grandstand was a 'brilliant' opportunity for the NRRRL.

“The NRRRL really deserves this type of coverage,” he said.

“It is a big competition, we have players formerly of the NRL and we have had past stars like the Smith brothers and Nathan Brown.

“It is a great promotion for bush rugby league.

“Our plans for the major semi-final are already in motion ... it's exciting times, very exciting times.”

The grand final will also be a great stage for players to showcase their talents, with dreams of playing in the NRL strengthened by a good performance in front of the Grandstand commentary team.

Young Magpies centre Hughie Stanley, who has been in blistering form, said he would relish any such opportunity.

“It would be great ... something to really aspire to,” he said.

But despite the opportunity to watch great football, check out the next generation of players and catch up with old friends, Morrow said he was just looking forward to getting away from the daily grind of the Grandstand studio.

“We don't get too many chances, but we love watching these types of matches,” he said.

“It gives us the opportunity to get away from the office.”

The Daily Examiner placed calls with local stations 2GF and Life FM yesterday to see if either had plans to cover the grand final. At the time of going to print, neither station had responded.

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