CODE-SWAPPER: Lismore fullback Mitchell Krause, who this week was selected in the NSW Country rugby union squad.
CODE-SWAPPER: Lismore fullback Mitchell Krause, who this week was selected in the NSW Country rugby union squad. Vicki Kerry

Krause is cruising in rugby

IT has been a rapid rise for Lismore fullback Mitchell Krause, who this week was selected in the NSW Country team after only a handful of games in Far North Coast rugby union.

Krause, 25, had played only two club games and three for Far North Coast before being selected in the Cockatoos squad after the representative carnival at Port Macquarie.

The rugby league convert will be a key man when Lismore hosts Ballina at Lismore Rugby Park today.

"It was very unexpected to say the least but I went into it with an open mind,” Krause said.

"I didn't know too many guys in our team other than the Lismore boys and it was great to play on the end of a really good backline.

"I was able to learn off guys like Ben Damen and I'm pretty keen to take this opportunity with both hands.”

Krause is no stranger to higher levels of competition after playing a handful of rugby league games for Wynnum-Manly in the Queensland Cup a few years ago.

He is well known in the local NRRRL competition at Marist Brothers and has found himself at centre, fullback and wing playing rugby.

"I'm all right with the rules, it's probably the positional stuff that I'm still learning,” Krause said.

"I was at the point where I was a bit flat with league and I wasn't going to play at all this season.

"I spoke to (Lismore coach) Will Cotterill and there were a couple of guys he was bringing over who I'd played with before.

"Glen Paisley is back playing and I think we're building towards something good this year.”

Ballina will be without five-eighth Grant Knight but they have a ready-made replacement in teenager Tom Watson.

Watson was selected in the NSW Country Colts team after standout performances last weekend.

Kick-off is 3.15pm.

In other games:

Vitori Buatava has been named at fullback for Casuarina when they host Southern Cross University.

Buatava played a handful games for Bangalow last year and had been playing for Bond University in Queensland Premier Rugby until last weekend.

Lennox Head takes on Bangalow at Williams Reserve, Lennox Head.

The Casino Bulls host Wollongbar-Alstonville at Albert Park, Casino.

Byron Bay has the bye.



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