Parsons to lead Northern Division
By STEVE SPINKS
HULKING former Newcastle Knights prop Matt Parsons, will captain a formidable looking Northern Division side against Northern Rivers in the first round of the NSW Country Championship in the curtain-raiser to the City v Country match at Oakes Oval, Lismore, on Friday night.
Parsons, who is now playing with his junior club Werris Creek in Group Four, retired from the National Rugby League after last season.
But he still struts his stuff on the weekend for the Creek and by all accounts is still a force to be reckoned with.
But if Northern Rivers focus solely on Parsons they could get hurt.
North Tamworth fullback Luke Taylor and halfback Peter Wenner can turn a game.
Taylor is rated one of the fastest fullbacks in bush football.
He represented NSW Country in the centres last year and also had a stint with the Canberra Raiders in the lower grades.
Northern Division were beaten semi-finalists last season and indications are the 2005 team will be even stronger.
The Northern Rivers team was still being finalised last night.
NORTHERN DIVISION: Fullback, Luke Taylor (North Tamworth); wingers, Brett Thomas (West Lions), Shane Hasselmann (Aberdeen); centres, Daniel Forder (Muswellbrook), Dean Taylor (Scone); five-eighth, Chad Solman (Singleton); halfback, Peter Wenner (North Tamworth); props, Matt Parsons (c) (Werris Creek), Adam Tearle (Muswellbrook); hooker, John Johnson (Scone); second-rowers, Brock Hunter (North Tamworth), Luke Hutton (Guyra); lock, Nathan Hamlin (West Lions). Interchange: Michael Considine (West Lions), Ben Hagan (Aberdeen), Jeff Richardson (Guyra), Ben Surtees (North Tamworth). Coach: Paul Upfield (Gunnedah).
UNDER-18s: Fullback, Josh Adams (Scone); wingers, Luke Ayre (Denman), Liam Dunn (Muswellbrook); centres, Leigh Mitchell (Aberdeen), Liam Hassler (North Tamworth); five-eighth, Peter Watton (Coonabarabran); halfback, Blake Dureau (c) (Denman); props, Adam Swadling (Narwan), Luke Cox (Coonabarabran); hooker, Josh Schmiedel (North Tamworth); second-rowers, Miguel Mash (Coonabarabran), Aaron Robinson (Moree); lock, Luke Gardner (Singleton). Interchange: Josh Bell (Aberdeen), Blake Gallen (Gunnedah), Gavin Jarrett (West Lions), Daniel Ritter (Scone). Coach: Garry Gardner.