Newcastle Rugby League: Nelson Bay Sharks make proud return to middle in 2019 via women's Blues Tag

It will be a proud moment when Nelson Bay take the field at Salamander Bay on Saturday afternoon.

The Sharks won't be attacking the first grade competition, but after a hiatus from the Newcastle Rugby League scene the reborn club returns in 2019 via women's Blues Tag.   

"It will be pretty special to see them out there," Nelson Bay vice-president and former men's player Scott Dews said.

Dews described the last six weeks as a "whirlwind" but rewarding with a squad of around 16 players, coached by Irish OzTag representative Blaine O'Flaherty, now ready to don the new-look Sharks uniform.

"Initially I thought we'd get around five or six players and try for next year," Dews said.

"It's all been a bit of a whirlwind since we asked the first question. But we've got some base talent there and we'll just see how we go."

Previous men's sides have also been known as the Northern Blues, North-Nelson Bay Marlins and Nelson Bay Blues. The current crew haven't ruled out tackling more teams down the track.

"Really it's about developing and hopefully the club can expand into that 2020 space," Dews said.

"I think we're focusing on under-19 boys at the moment because there's an under-17 division one side at Nelson Bay juniors."

The Sharks will host a women's Blues Tag round on Sunday, May 12, with all four fixtures played at Tomaree Sports Complex.

As for the challenge in this weekend's season opener, it will be title holders Wests.

"It's going to be daunting for us," Dews said.

"We played a trial against Maitland a couple of weeks and that was our first proper hit out with opposition we're going to be playing against.

"Wests are the defending premiers, but you've got to start somewhere." 

Kick-off is 1:10pm.

Elsewhere in the expanded, women's Blues Tag competition - Cessnock host Maitland on Saturday, Macquarie travel to meet Kurri on Saturday and inaugural 2017 champions Souths are away to Central on Sunday. Lakes have the bye.