Rugby league in Sidmouth?

PUBLISHED: 09:00 26 January 2008 | UPDATED: 10:21 17 June 2010

A consortium of ex-pat Englishmen and locals from the East Devon region have put forward a proposal to form a rugby league team in the South West Conference for 2009.

A consortium of ex-pat Englishmen and locals from the East Devon region have put forward a proposal to form a rugby league team in the South West Conference for 2009. Playing the likes of Plymouth, Somerset Vikings, Exeter Centurions, East Devon Eagles and Torquay-based Devon Sharks, the newly-formed club is planning to be based out of Sidmouth, and named the Sidmouth Stingrays.A spokesman for the proposal, Martin Pye said: "We were originally looking to focus on a team in Torquay, but with the Newton Abbot-based Devon Sharks moving into Torquay in 2008, this was no longer an option."Sidmouth looks like an amazing place, and we are looking to forge a relationship with the Rugby Union team, although no official contact has yet taken place," he said."Because the rugby league plays through the summer, and union through the winter, it is ideally suited to people who are interested in playing both codes" Pye added. "We are looking to sign several union players to the Stingrays from here in Australia, who may well want to stay on and be part of the Sidmouth Union team too, if there is a place in the team for them.""I have one fellow who played rugby union for Queensland under-19s in 2005, and know he would be a great asset to either code," Pye said.Martin Pye, a league veteran who has played in the UK before, has recently formed a small sports development business based in Australia, and would also be looking for a reciprocal agreement for British players to have a season in Australia. "Sport is great for forming friendships, challenging yourself and obviously for fitness too," he said. "You never know what doors a season in the UK or in Australia might open for some."The club is now on the lookout for a major sponsor, as well as players, coaches, and behind the scenes staff. "There is certainly a lot to do before a ball is kicked for the Stingrays in 2009," Pye said. "Any help at all would be great. We are looking have someone operational in the UK in the coming months, based in the Sidmouth area."For now, Martin Pye can be contacted at Pye Sports Development, Po Box 207, Narooma, NSW, Australia, 2546. or email marty@esafetyshop.com.au Sidmouth Rugby Club's Terry O'Brien said that a member of the committee would be reporting back on the proposal at a forthcoming meeting.The Herald would be interested in your views - email sports editor Lee Glanville on sport.devon@archant.co.uk

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