Big day out for Nth Rivers squad

THE Northern Rivers senior representative rugby league team will play a curtain-raiser to a Titans NRL game on the Gold Coast this month in preparation for its assault on the NSW Country divisional championship.

Northern Rivers will play a Gold Coast representative team at Carrara on April 29, the day the Titans play the Parramatta Eels.

It will become a regular feature of the local league calendar and has been dubbed the Titans Challenge.

There may be added spice in the wake of the recent debacle involving the comings and goings of the Cudgen Hornets.

The divisional championship will kick off on May 5, when the Northern Rivers senior and Under-18 squads take on Western Division at Mudgee.

This will be the first time Northern Rivers and Western Division have faced off in the preliminary rounds and a tough encounter is expected.

Western Division have a proud history of success in the annual fixtures.

The winners from that day will face another tough assignment against Newcastle the following weekend.

Training for the two Northern Rivers squads will be held today with the juniors at Kingsford Smith Park, Ballina, from 6.30pm and the seniors at Mullumbimby at 6.30pm.

Squads: Seniors: Shannon Murphy, Jason Willis, David Hicks, Scott Cooke, Steve Kirkham, Geoff Moate (Murwillumbah); Gene Slockee, Graham Smallwood, Clinton Barends (South Tweed); Russell Aiken (Tweed Coast Raiders); David Strahan, Jay McDermott (Byron Bay); Brent Peterson, Wise Kataverata (Marist Brothers); Dylan Montgomery, Dean French (Ballina); Walter Donnelly, Simon Pederson, Tom Ivanusa (Kyogle).

Under-18s: Luke Bartlett, Andrew Battesse, Kane Montgomery, Matt Hundy (Ballina); Alex Butchies (Byron Bay); Cody Walker (Casino RSM); Ben McLennan, Jason Hackett, Dan Roberts, Khan Williams (Grafton Ghosts); Matt O'Reilly, Cameron Gibson, Zac Fardon (Kyogle); Curtis Laurie (Lower Clarence); Scott McClelland, Jo Witt, Jake Campbell (Marist Brothers); Jai Hitchcock (Mulllumbimby); Joe Thomas (Murwillumbah); Daniel Bligh, Steve Gillett (South Grafton); Yuli McGrady, Anthony Flores (Tweed Coast Raiders).

Both squads will be added to and changed as training and games dictate.

All players named are required to train today when details of further training will be passed on.

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