THE NSW Rugby League will push ahead with plans for a state-wide Ron Massey Cup, but chief executive Dave Trodden insists it won't come at the expense of rebuilding local competitions.
The COVID-19 pandemic saw the Illawarra League first grade competition fall over, with Wests and Thirroul subsequently entering the state-wide Presidents Cup.
Helensburgh also reached the finals of the second-tier Sydney Shield, with that state's governing body looking to build on the success in creating a broadened state-wide league in 2021.
The NSWRL hopes some of the powerhouse clubs in the Illawarra will put their hand up, with Wests showing preliminary interest while Collegians remain focused on a local return next season.
With most competitions rebuilding next season, all sides who enter the Ron Massey Cup will need to also field a side in their 'home' zone next season.
"It's been a strategic goal of the NSW Rugby League and the NRL to have a state-wide competition but we're not going to allow the expansion of the Ron Massey Cup to be the catalyst for the destruction if any other competition," Trodden said.
"You don't want to cannibalise an Illawarra competition, or a Newcastle or a Canberra competition for a Ron Massey Cup. We would only do it for clubs who are strong enough to field a team in the Ron Massey Cup and a good standard team in its local competition, be it Illawarra, Newcastle or wherever.
"Hopefully the stronger clubs down in Wollongong would have a capacity to do that and one of the subsidiary advantages of that is you have a good state-wide competition but you even out the Illawarra competition as well and make it more competitive."