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Northern Rivers: A ‘team’ to be proud of

REWARDED: Ballina junior Mitchell Aubusson (pictured) is one of several talented players from the Northern Rivers who has gone on to play in the NRL
REWARDED: Ballina junior Mitchell Aubusson (pictured) is one of several talented players from the Northern Rivers who has gone on to play in the NRL

EIGHT players from the Northern Rivers have now been part of Country Origin rugby league squads in the past decade.

David Mead, Tyrone Roberts and Michael Gordon were all selected in the 2014 side.

However, a knee injury forced Gordon out of the team on Monday.

Casino product Matt King, Luke Covell, Luke Douglas, Anthony Laffranchi and Amos Roberts have also played for Country in previous years.

King and Laffranchi went on to play for NSW and Australia.

The Northern Rivers also boasts three premiership-winning players from the past decade.

Laffranchi was part of the premiership-winning Wests Tigers team in 2005.

King went on to win a grand final with the Melbourne Storm in 2007.

However, the title was later stripped due to salary cap breaches.

Aubusson is the most recent player to win a premiership.

He came off the bench in the 2013 grand final for the Roosters.

Here is a look at what the Northern Rivers team of the past decade would look like.

All of them have

played NRL in the past 10 years and were Group 1 juniors or played in the Northern Rivers senior competition

NORTHERN RIVERS NRL TEAM

Fullback Michael Gordon (Cudgen); wingers Luke Covell (Murwillumbah), Anthony Don (Grafton Ghosts); centres David Mead (Marist Brothers), Matt King (Casino/ Marist Brothers); five-eighth Jacob Miller (Mullumbimby); halfback Tyrone Roberts (Ballina) props Danny Wicks (Grafton Ghosts), Luke Douglas (Lower Clarence); hooker James Aubusson (Ballina/Marist Brothers); second-rowers Anthony Laffranchi (Murwillumbah), Mitchell Aubusson (Ballina); lock Cody Nelson (Mullumbimby) bench: Ian Donnelly (Brothers/Ballina) Paul Carter (Brothers) Will Matthews (Kyogle), Roy Bell (Casino/Northern United), Shannon Walker (Kyogle), Amos Roberts (Marist Brother). Coach Brian Smith (Casino)

NB: Lismore-born Martin Kennedy did not fit the criteria because he played his entire junior rugby league at Norths Ipswich and Ipswich Grammar School before signing with the Roosters.

Danny Lee, Ken Nagas and Nigel Roy have all been retired from NRL for over a decade.

Other coaches for consideration were Matt Elliot (Lismore Workers), Graham Murray (Lismore Workers) and Nathan Brown (Lower Clarence).




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