Homegrown

By Steve Spinks

Tabulan's Roy Bell will play his fifth National Rugby League game for the South Sydney Rabbitohs tomorrow.

Unlike a fellow former local, Bell has never played for NSW or Australia, and his aim is just to become a regular for the Rabbitohs.

The tiny winger weighs 70kg.

Casino's Ben Kennedy will turn out for his new club, the Manly Sea Eagles, on Sunday for the 138th time in a career that has spanned nine years.

He is still rated as one of the premier forwards in the game and has played 10 State of Origins for NSW and seven Tests.

Kennedy wants to re-invent himself at his new club after an injury-ravaged season last year.

He weighs 102kg.

This is the contrast between the Northern Rivers' youngest and oldest NRL stars.

But they're not the only locals who will line up in the code's premier competition.

Former Lower Clarence Magpie Daniel Wagon will be playing in his ninth season, his seventh with the Parramatta Eels.

The centre played one season with the Magpies as an Under-18 before joining the St George club in 1997.

Another former Dragon, Amos Roberts, has a local link.

Roberts, who is now with the Sydney Roosters, played his junior rugby league with St John's College, Woodlawn, when he was a boarder there.

After starting his career in 2000, Roberts moved to Penrith last season before joining the Roosters.

The winger has played 65 NRL games.

Casino's Matt King will play his 25th match in the centres with the Melbourne Storm when they take on the Newcastle Knights on Sunday.

King burst on to the NRL scene in late 2003, before cementing a starting spot with the Storm last year and earning selection in the NSW Country Origin team.

Although not strictly local, the Northern Rivers can now claim West Tigers second-rower Anthony Laffranchi and Cronulla winger Luke Covell.

Both played with the Murwillumbah Mustangs before heading south.



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