A HOST of Ovens and Murray stars may be forced to miss the Riverina league season.
The Riverina league board met on Monday night where it was decided it would proceed with plans to play this season.
The original proposed start date of the season was pushed back a week from Saturday until July 25.
I think clubs need to focus on whats best for our communities and not premierships.Michael Irons
However, the immediate future of several high-profile O&M recruits remains in limbo after a league recommendation.
The league recommended that border based players adhere to the NSW government's restriction on travelling outside a 50km radius of the border and don't participate in the competition.
Osborne coach Joel Mackie alongside former Albury premiership teammates Brayden O'Hara and Elliott Powell are among the biggest names that could be sitting on the sidelines.
AFL Riverina chairman Michael Irons confirmed border based players were not welcome in the competition.
"We are concerned with the border restrictions and we are recommending clubs plan to play without having players from the border region," Irons said.
"We also think clubs should seriously review the participation of players from other regions as well, in particular those from the Canberra and Sydney areas.
"The season is about our communities and I think clubs need to focus on what's best for our communities and not premierships.
"Any players that are travelling into the Riverina region, clubs need to look if its feasible for them to participate.
"That is the recommendation at this stage."
Irons didn't rule out border based players being welcome to play later in the season.
He said the league would be strongly guided by government restrictions.
League newcomers Osborne alongside Wagga Tigers will be the two clubs hardest hit by the recommendation.
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Mackie is not only coach of the Tigers but arguably their best player alongside Powell.
Tom Johnson and Sam Livingstone have already been ruled out for the season with no Victorian based players eligible to play in the league.
Defending premiers Wagga Tigers will also be significantly weaker without O'Hara, Jake Gaynor and former coach Shaun Campbell.
It was also decided at the board meeting that Farrer league clubs wishing to play could join the new competition.
The new competition has been renamed the AFL Riverina Championships after the Farrer league season was abandoned last week.
Both Farrer and Riverina league clubs have until 5pm on Wednesday to register their interest in competing in the championships.
Narrandera and Griffith withdrew from the Riverina league last week reducing the competition to eight sides.
It is believed four Farrer league clubs are considering switching competitions.
The league will release it draw once the final make-up is decided.