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Knights ensure long-term growth of local league

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A historic partnership between an NRL powerhouse and its nursery will ensure the long-term growth of rugby league in the region.

That’s according to Philip Gardner and Bob Dixon after their respective organisations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) during the week.

The Newcastle Knights chief executive officer and Hunter Junior Rugby League (HJRL) chairman unveiled the details of the highly-anticipated alliance at McDonald Jones Stadium.

And, it means the NRL club can no longer be accused of ignoring its home base.

The MoU is designed to bring the community together by delivering positive experiences and inclusive rugby league-based initiatives, consistent with their respective visions and values.

“This partnership marks a positive step forward for both the Newcastle Knights and the Hunter Junior Rugby League,” Gardner said.

“It’s a testament to our commitment to grassroots development and nurturing talent within our area.

“Together, we can inspire and empower the next generation of rugby league stars, while fostering a strong community bond and a pathway to success.

“Growth of the game is crucial to the lasting success of the Knights.

“So, this partnership intends to enhance opportunities for not only players but administrators, medical staff, coaches, referees and volunteers.”

Dixon echoed those sentiments.

“Being the second largest junior association in NSW, we believe signing this agreement with Newcastle, to partner in developing and enhancing the junior rugby league fold in the Hunter, is a huge boost for the future,” he said.

“It is clear the Knights are committed to a structured and strategic investment in the development of youngsters here in the Hunter.

“That makes our prospects appear very exciting.”

Meanwhile, Newcastle tackles the Warriors at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday 5 May from 2pm.

The Knights are keen to build on the momentum from last weekend’s win over the Dolphins.

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