It's a proud day for two of Rugby League's oldest clubs with the Sydney Roosters announcing a new five-year partnership with the North Sydney Bears, commencing in 2019.
The Bears, one of five foundation clubs still remaining in the NRL and Intrust Super Premiership NSW, will become the official feeder club for the Roosters at the start of next season.
This comes just six months after it was announced the Wyong Roos will sever ties with the minor premiers at the conclusion of 2018, and it will also see the Bears officially end their 11-year partnership with the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Easts Group CEO Scott Bennetts says the announcement speaks volumes of the collective pride both clubs place in helping players maximise their potential.
"Like the Roosters, the Bears boast a proud history, and both Clubs share a number of values centred around the development and transition of players to compete at the highest level," Bennetts told roosters.com.au.
Current Sydney Roosters Assistant Coach Jason Taylor will assume the role as Bears' head-coach at the start of the 2019 season – the same club he played for between 1994-99; recording 147 First-Grade appearances and 1274 points along the way.
"We are in the fortunate position of being able to lean not only on Jason's experience as a coach, but also his intricate knowledge of and passion for both Clubs, and everyone at the Roosters is looking forward to working with Jason and the tem at the Bears to ensure sustained success for both organisations in the coming years," Bennetts added.
NSWRL General Manager of Football Barrie-Jon Mather says the partnership can help drive greater participation among grassroots Rugby League.
"It's good that the Bears have secured their future and the Roosters have secured their partnership. It's great to see them working together to make the ISP stronger and hopefully it can build from there," Mather told NSWRL.com.au.
"Both clubs share the same ambitions to grow and both have been very successful in 2018 and I think that partnership, with a clear pathway from top to bottom...will hopefully just strengthen their participation."