Grant Knight hits the Lismore defence while playing for Ballina in Far North Coast rugby union.
Grant Knight hits the Lismore defence while playing for Ballina in Far North Coast rugby union. Marc Stapelberg

Big game players in FNC rugby team

FAR North Coast will field one of its strongest teams in recent years with Ben Damen and Grant Knight in the same backline for the NSW Country rugby union championships at Port Macquarie this weekend.

Both usually play five-eighth with Knight moving to inside centre where he has played some games in the past.

He has not played representative rugby for the past few seasons and should relish the chance to play outside Damen, who is the NSW Country five-eighth

"We have two really strong ball players there and I'm sure they will go well together,” coach John Jenkins said.

"I'd be really disappointed if we don't get three or four players selected in the Country team.”

Numbers were down at the start of the training program and it looked like the team might have had to pull the pin before an influx of players from across the zone joined in recent weeks.

It will be the first taste of representative rugby for the likes of rugby league convert Mitchell Krause while there is plenty of size in the tight five with Caleb Burke and Josh Lupton.

"We probably ended up with 32 players who attended training sessions at some point and we did lose a few with injuries and other commitments,” Jenkins said.

"The last three sessions we were getting 18-20 there and everyone was staying in contact so we had that good team vibe.

"I have to thank the coaches, since we put a call out when we needed players most have done everything they could to help us.

"We've ended up with a good spread of players from across the zone.”

Jenkins hopes if the team wins the Richardson Shield in the second tier of the competition it could open the door for Lismore to host the championships next year.

"We last won it in 2010 and then we had five selected in the Country team when we hosted it the following year,” he said.

"A win here would be a good way to spark a bit of interest our way especially because it would nearly be our turn to have it again.”

FNC has its first game against Central Coast at 9am tomorrow.



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