Since 2007, the Auckland Vulcans have been known and regarded as the NSW Cup feeder team of the New Zealand Warriors but with the Auckland Rugby League and Warriors reaching an agreement, the NRL club will take over operation of the Vulcans side moving forward.
With the Vulcans doing all the right things over the years whilst acting as the Warriors feeder team, Cameron McGregor, the Chairman of the ARL, believed that now was the right time to have the Warriors take over.
â€œOur original aim was to develop an outlet for local amateur players to play at the best level possible but stay in Auckland,â€ he said.
â€œA lot of our club players have benefited from the exposure with the Vulcans and have brought that valuable experience back into our Fox Memorial competition.
â€œApart from players, the Vulcans have also provided a pathway for our local coaches, football staff, managers and match officials and we look forward to this continuing in the future.
â€œA highlight for everyone involved in rugby league in Auckland was seeing the Vulcans play in the 2011 New South Wales Cup grand final on a day when New Zealand teams lined up in all three grand finals.
â€œWeâ€™ve thoroughly enjoyed and have benefited from our involvement with the Vulcans and working with the Vodafone Warriors. However, the time is right for us to focus even more on our Auckland club football and rugby league at school level, especially on the back of the College Rugby League First XIII Competitionâ€™s hugely successful first season.â€
In what could have been a complicated process, Warriors CEO Wayne Scurrah was pleased with the efficiency of it all and was full of praise for the ARL.
â€œWithout the ARLâ€™s foresight we wouldnâ€™t have had the Vulcans at all,â€ he said.
â€œWeâ€™re enormously grateful to them for making the venture possible and providing such valuable assistance in helping with the development of rugby league players and the game generally.
â€œAfter seven years, itâ€™s a good time for us to fully integrate the team into our organisation and provide a seamless transition from our development squad to the NYC, the New South Wales Cup and the NRL.
â€œThis means the ARLâ€™s financial contribution to the New South Wales Cup team will end immediately.â€
The Vulcans contribution to rugby league in New Zealand, the Warriors and the NSW Cup has not gone unnoticed, however, with NSWRL CEO Dave Trodden praising the work and development they have done over the last 7 years.
â€œThey put in a lot of work to make it possible for us to have a New Zealand side in the competition,â€ Trodden said.
â€œWe owe them a huge debt of gratitude. By having the Vulcans involved, our competition has grown considerably in its standing.
â€œThe association with the Vulcans has been enormously beneficial to the New South Wales Cup and the other clubs by helping players experience the challenges of preparing for and coping with the travel demands involved in away games in another country.
“Theyâ€™ve enjoyed the chance theyâ€™ve had of playing games outside New South Wales and we relished the chance to work with the Auckland Rugby League at executive level. Weâ€™ve built up a strong relationship with them.
â€œWe now look forward to working with the Vodafone Warriors and weâ€™re excited to have another NRL club fielding their own team in the New South Wales Cup.â€