Merger of Woodbridge Cup and Mid West League has been proposed

RIVALS: Oberon Tigers coach Dallas Booth steams through the Cargo defence in 2020 when the Woodbridge Cup club joined Mid West for a year.

RIVALS: Oberon Tigers coach Dallas Booth steams through the Cargo defence in 2020 when the Woodbridge Cup club joined Mid West for a year.

A MERGED competition involving the Mid West League and Woodbridge Cup - it may not happen for season 2022, but it could be part of the rugby league future.

Mid West League president and former Oberon Tigers coach Dallas Booth revealed that while talks are still very much in the infancy stage, the union of the two competitions is something which has been proposed.

Booth thinks that taking it any further than just a proposal will hinge on the success of the new Western Premiership, a conference-style competition which will involve Group 10 and Group 11 first grade teams.

The inaugural edition of the Western Premiership will be played in 2022 and at this stage the Mid West League and Woodbridge Cup will remain as separate competitions.

"There has been talk of doing a similar thing with us and Woodbridge, the same sort of thing Group 10 and Group 11 premier league are doing, but that's still in the very early stages of discussion," Booth revealed.

"Whether or not that happens next year remains to be seen, I guess what they'll need to do is get premier league sorted first.

"It will be interesting to see what happens over the next few weeks and few months, I can't see it being effected too much for next year."


While the Mid West and Woodbridge Cup are standalone competitions, there have been links between the two in seasons past.

In 2020 when the Woodbridge Cup did not go ahead due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cargo Blue Heelers joined the Mid West League to ensure its first grade and league tag sides could still compete.

This season the Mid West competition featured six clubs - Oberon, CSU, Orange Warriors, Portland, Lithgow Bears and Kandos. The Woodbridge Cup premiership was bigger with nine combatants in Manildra, Canowindra, Trundle, Molong, Eugowra, Peak Hill, Cargo, Grenfell and Condobolin.

Whether or not a merger takes place remains to be seen, but one thing Booth does expect in 2022 is an improved Mid West showing from Oberon.

After winning the 2020 grand final, a less experienced Tigers outfit placed fourth this season. Booth coached both those teams and while he will now stand down from that role, will remain involved with Oberon.

"It was probably a rebuilding year that was good. Several of the guys that were coming off the bench for us the year before all ran on this year and played a lot more minutes, learned a lot more and got a lot more experience, which puts us in better stead for the next several years," he said.

"Our halves and a lot of our forward pack were only in their first or second year of senior football so yeah, it was really good experience for them.

"They were probably a couple of games we could've won but didn't and that probably comes down to our inexperience, but players don't get that experience unless they get out there on the paddock."