BACK IN THE RED AND WHITE: Grant Brown will return to play for the South Grafton Rebels after signing a mid-season transfer from the Lower Clarence Magpies.
BACK IN THE RED AND WHITE: Grant Brown will return to play for the South Grafton Rebels after signing a mid-season transfer from the Lower Clarence Magpies. Debrah Novak

South Grafton Rebels bolstered by mid-season signing

RUGBY LEAGUE: The South Grafton Rebels have received a mid-season boost with the signing of enforcer Grant Brown to bolster the ranks of their first-grade side.

Brown returns to the Rebels for the first time since 2018, after playing last season and the beginning of this season with the Lower Clarence Magpies.

However, with the Magpies unable to field a first grade team for season 2019, Rebels president Brendan Breitnauer said Brown made the difficult decision to fly the coop and return to the Rebels for the remainder of the season.

"It's a tough situation the Magpies were in, without having a first grade side, and it really put Grant in a tough position going forward,” Breitnauer said.

"I spoke to (Lower Clarence Magpies president) John Elisaia last week and while Grant is a big loss to them they understand the situation and agreed to the transfer.

"As a club we're really glad to have Grant back at the Rebels, he brings with him a wealth of experience and he is a great player, a real leader for the team and I expect the boys to learn a lot from him.”

Breitnauer said the paperwork was finalised for the transfer last week, and he said he expected Brown to line up for the Rebels this weekend when they take on defending premiers Coffs Harbour Comets at Coffs Harbour on Sunday afternoon from 2.45pm.

The signing of Brown comes as good news to the club after suffering a setback last week which saw the South Grafton Rebels lose two competition points after they fielded an unregistered player during their opening round 30-22 win over the Woolgoolga Seahorses.

As per Country Rugby League rules, the Rebels lost the two points for the win, which were then awarded to the Seahorses.

Breitnauer said the club was keen to move forward from the error that saw them lose their only competition points of the 2019 season, and would be set to face off against the Comets, who have started their season with a 26-0 win over the Sawtell Panthers and a 42-8 thrashing of the Macksville Sea Eagles.