The Canberra Raiders are set to go it alone in 2021 rather than form an affiliation with a NSW Cup side.
Uncertainty surrounding next season's second-tier competition has the Raiders keeping their options open after they ended their nine-year affiliation with the Mounties this year.
The Raiders spoke to the Wentworthville Magpies, as well as a couple of Queensland Cup teams - they used to be affiliated with the Souths Logan Magpies - but will resist making an official allegiance with a team.
Raiders chief executive Don Furner said they could have a loose affiliation with a NSW Cup team or rely on interclub scrimmages - like they had against the Melbourne Storm earlier this year.
They could also use the Canberra Raiders Cup, like they have with their under-20s.
"It's going to be a funny one. I don't think we're going to be with anybody because of the uncertainty," Furner said.
"We did speak to Wentworthville and we spoke to a couple of QCup clubs, but just with the uncertainty of travel and competition structure we think we're going to go it alone in 2021.
"It's too hard to plan. Watching our under-20s play in our local comp has been very competitive so if we needed to get game time into them we could put them back into the local competition or they might allow more of those inter-club games, like against the Storm."
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While fielding a team in the Canberra Raiders Cup had been a success, Furner hoped the NSW Rugby League junior competitions does go ahead next year.
The Jersey Flegg, SG Ball and Harold Matthews competitions have all had their age limits raised a year to compensate for the lost season after they were all cancelled this year.
That means they'll become under-21s, under-19s and under-17s respectively.
It's looking like the NRL clubs will have 28-man squads next year after there was talk it could be as low as 26.
The number of development players also looks set to be reduced from the current six.
Furner said smaller squads might mean they don't need the same set-up they've had in the past.
"With a few injuries you really haven't got that many to place ... you might only have four guys and you can rotate them," he said.
"Because of the uncertainty we're going to take a conservative approach with the feeder situation.
"I did speak to the CEO of the NSW Rugby League and ... it's going to be that fluid that we might drop a couple of guys into a team in Sydney for a couple of weeks rather than commit to the whole season.
"Or [Raiders coach Ricky Stuart] might be happy to rotate some players and give them a rest one week and play another.
"You can't replicate fully the match fitness, but they're not far off. It'll be a little bit of everything next year with that."
NRL ROUND 15
Saturday: Canberra Raiders v Gold Coast Titans at the Gold Coast, 3pm.
Raiders squad: 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, 2. Jordan Rapana, 3. Jarrod Croker (c), 4. Curtis Scott, 5. Nick Cotric, 6. Jack Wighton, 7. George Williams, 8. Josh Papalii, 9. Siliva Havili, 10. Dunamis Lui, 11. John Bateman, 12. Elliott Whitehead, 13. Hudson Young. Interchange: 14. Tom Starling, 15. Joe Tapine, 16. Ryan Sutton, 17. Corey Harawira-Naera. Reserves: 19. Harley Smith-Shields, 21. Matt Frawley.
Titans squad: 1. Alexander Brimson, 18. Corey Thompson, 3. Brian Kelly, 4. Young Tonumaipea, 5. Phillip Sami, 6. Ashley Taylor, 7. Jamal Fogarty, 8. Jarrod Wallace, 9. Nathan Peats, 10. Jaimin Jolliffe, 17. Sam Stone, 12. Keegan Hipgrave, 13. Moeaki Fotuaika. Interchange: 14. Tyrone Peachey, 15. Sam Lisone, 16. Beau Fermor, 20. Jai Whitbread. Reserves: 19. Tanah Boyd, 21. Erin Clark.