Bundaberg Rugby League supporters are in for what is shaping up to be one of the most competitive seasons for many years in the Sugar City.
This season sees eight teams in A Grade, eight teams in Reserve Grade, six teams in the Under 18s and seven teams in the Women’s competition battling it out for the silverware, placing the district in position for a bumper year of the ‘greatest game of all’.
Defending A Grade premiers Hervey Bay will still be competitive and very difficult for teams to defeat especially on their home turf at Stafford Park.
Grand finalists Waves Tigers have retained the nucleus of their side from last season along with the addition of well-respected forward Rhys Neil, a former Isis and Easts player, who will certainly improve their competitiveness with his tireless workload.
Western Suburbs will again be aiming to be at the finish line come September and although they have lost many of their players from last season, the mighty Panthers will still be very strong with their remaining playing roster along with a couple of new faces.
Past Brothers have a new coach with Brent Kuskey at the reins of a young and enthusiastic team of players who always strive to win when they pull the ‘Butcher Stripes’ jumper on.
It will be a new-look Brethren with promotion of younger players and new players making up the line-up when they cross the main grandstand touchline at Salter Oval on April 1.
Wallaroos could be the surprise packet of the competition having regained the services of Brad and Will Jung who return after a season with the Hervey Bay Seagulls.
With the young talent in the team, the Roos will also be in the firing line at season’s end and will be no pushover for any club.
The Isis Devils, who finished towards the bottom last season, have been active and recruited well with good numbers turning up for pre-season sessions.
One of the new recruits is Jake Thompson who returns after a season with Sunshine Coast.
One of the best young players in Bundaberg, Jayden Alberts has also put pen to paper with the Devils after previously playing his entire rugby league career with Past Brothers.
Eastern Suburbs have a new coach with former Past Brothers coach Matthew Templeman joining Easts after leading the Brethren in the previous two seasons.
Templeman will bring a new coaching perspective to the Magpies with the experience he has gained from the various representative levels he has played.
The Magpies have a huge challenge to assert themselves as a leading contender for premiership honours. Despite being written off many times in previous years, they have defied the critics and delivered.
Debutants to the A Grade competition this season, Maryborough Brothers will no doubt endeavour to be competitive having won an epic BRL Reserve Grade grand final last season.
Following this win, they will certainly will not be taken for granted by any team.
All is shaping up well for what should be a bumper season in Bundaberg with the season commencing on Saturday, April 1.
For all the latest information on the 2017 4BU/93.9HitzFM BRL Competition, head to the the Bundaberg Rugby League website.