WA Reds Return into Jim Beam Cup

8th February 2007

WA Rugby League chief Geoff Baldwin last night revealed the name of the local team to enter the secondtier Jim Beam Cup next year as part of a long-range plan to restore a Perth side to the National Rugby League. Baldwin said the Reds name had been retained because the public automatically associated it with rugby league, and local followers of the sport associated it with unfinished business. He revealed that the logo of the new team was based on that of the old Western Reds. The intention was for the Reds to be back in the national competition by 2012.

"Coincidentally, the name WA Reds results in an acronym of 'war' and for the new team it is appropriate as we embark on a full and measured assault on the eastern seaboard to bring WA back into the national spotlight of rugby league," he said. "Five years ago we started the journey back to the NRL. Our initial goals were to develop a strong local competition and become financially secure, and that's done. "Now we're into stage two, to form a WA team and improve to the point we can present to the NRL a case they can't argue against." The new team's head coach, Chris Dever, and conditioning coach Matt Fuller are former Western Reds players and have launched a development program to get local players up to speed for next year's entry into the NSW-based competition. WARL general manager Bill Nosworthy recently returned from a recruiting trip which netted former North Queensland Cowboys player Michael Fairweather. Nosworthy also persuaded eight players who had represented WA at junior level to return home, including Newtown premier grade player Ryan Dixon, South Sydney under-19 member Jacob Buck and Jamie Lamaro, who played for Central Coast in the Jim Beam Cup. "The local clubs have been doing a lot of recruiting themselves and there will be at least 20 players from other States playing in our competition this year in the hope of breaking into the Reds," Nosworthy said.