The Pokolbin Reds are the last men standing in Coalfields rugby union as the only team to field a senior men's side in Newcastle and Hunter Rugby Union competitions this season.
The Maitland Blacks, Cessnock Mongrels and East Maitland Eagles have all decided not to enter teams in the 10-round Rams Cup premier and divisional competition which kicks off on July 25.
The Blacks' junior programs will continue with the club putting emphasis on their under-18 side as well as their women's team in a proposed Rugby 10s competition.
Cessnock Mongrels, which has competed in the divisional comp with the Reds, will sit out 2020 and East Maitland, which had planned to return to the field this year after a three-year hiatus, will delay their return for a year.
In their own inimitable side the Reds announced their return with a banner in part proclaiming "No sheep stations on the line here. Just hard tackles, big runs and cold beers".
Reds president Jerome Scarborough said when the NHRU decided to run a Covid-compacted competition there was enough interest for the club to sign up.
"It's a 10-round competition with finals after that so there is something to play for," Scarborough said.
"We've got a core of about 14-15 players and are confident of getting the 21 to 22 players you need to field a side each week to allow for injuries and players not available because of work.
"I think after such a tough year everyone is just looking to be able to get out a have a game of rugby and enjoy themselves."
The Reds returned to training on Tuesday night and plan to train on Tuesday and Thursday night as well as hopefully some weekend sessions before the season kicks offs.
Any Blacks players looking for a game with the Reds have their club's full blessings.
Blacks president Pat Howard said the Reds and Gloucester Cockatoos were both affiliate clubs of the Blacks and any Maitland senior players wanting a game would be able to play without a clearance.
"As we are affiliated with Pokolbin and Gloucester our players can go and play with those two clubs," Howard said.
"Players registration goes across automatically if they want to play with either of those teams."
Eagles coach Brad Dilley said it was disappointing but the lack of preparation time the club had no choice but to delay their return after a three year break from competition.
He said half his squad had not played rugby union before and the lack of experience in scrimmaging was too big a risk with such a short preparation.
"We were asked if we wanted to field a team but It's just too dangerous, I wouldn't take that risk with players' safety," Dilley said.
"The good thing is that we have been assured not fielding a team this year will not jeopardise our return next year all all."
Anyone interested in playing for the Reds can check the Pokolbin Rugby Club Facebook page or call 0411 041 943