Latest game plan: See how Ipswich footy returns to life
AFTER weeks of negotiations and desperate attempts to revitalise regional rugby league, the game plan is ready.
The first three matches of the combined competition between Ipswich and Toowoomba club sides will be played at the North Ipswich Reserve on Saturday, August 1.
The first round games will feature Rugby League Ipswich A-Grade sides Goodna, Norths and West End tackling Toowoomba competition opponents Gatton, Souths and Valleys.
The format was finalised after last night's meeting at Gatton Leagues Club between RLI chairman Gary Parker and representatives from the Toowoomba competition (TRL) clubs.
"It was all positive,'' Parker said. "They were appreciative that they can have a game.
"It was quite a good meeting actually.''
Parker has another meeting with Ipswich clubs tonight to finalise any outstanding issues.
He appreciated their ongoing support.
"They are happy enough with how things are,'' Parker said.
Club presidents like Jack Rhea (Goodna) and Jason Brennan (Norths) confirmed their support in earlier QT stories.
With Toowoomba clubs locked in, Parker said excitement was building about some quality football being played.
Ten weeks of matches are planned before a round of semi-finals on Sunday, October 11.
The grand final is set down for Sunday, October 18.
Parker said the first four rounds would be played at the North Ipswich Reserve with clubs sharing gate takings.
After that, each club in Ipswich and Toowoomba can host a round of fixtures to bolster their revenue.
"Whichever venue you go to will get the three A-Grade games,'' Parker said.
That gives supportive clubs like Norths Tigers a chance to host special reunions at venues like Cribb Park, North Ipswich.
Parker said the opening matches in Ipswich on August 1 would be played at game times like 1.30pm, 3.30pm and 5.30pm.
While some more volunteers would be welcome to help out, Parker said referees and other issues were being finalised in a spirit of co-operation.
Each team will be allowed 19 players per game, with 12 interchanges allowed.
The return of the senior competition between two proud rugby league cities will follow the resumption of Ipswich junior matches the night before.
Internationals games for kids aged 13-17 will start on Friday night, July 31 at venues around the region.
Matches for youngsters aged 6-12 will be played on Saturdays from the first week in August.
The five Ipswich clubs offering teams are Goodna, Norths, West End, Swifts and Redbank Plains.
The junior competition will run for 10 weeks.