Lennox Head player Sam Stewart looks to pass the ball in the game against ballina at Williams Reserve in Lennox Head. Union Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star
Lennox Head player Sam Stewart looks to pass the ball in the game against ballina at Williams Reserve in Lennox Head. Union Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star Photo Marc Stapelberg

My Far North Coast rugby union dream team: Sports editor

Prop, Phil Tyler, Lennox Head

Arrived in Lennox Head at the tail end of his career after a lengthy stint with Eastwood in Sydney and a couple of Super Rugby games with the NSW Waratahs. He was rock solid at the Trojans and a key part of the 2010 team who went through the competition undefeated to win a third straight premiership.

 

Hooker, Jacques Lotter, Ballina

A South African import who spent three seasons at Ballina and captained the side when they last reached the grand final in 2010. Lotter also played in England and was tireless in his efforts around the field during his three years at the Seahorses.

 

Ballina's Jacques Lotter in 2010.
Ballina's Jacques Lotter in 2010. JERAD WILLIAMS

Prop, Marty Plokstys, Ballina

Another tough prop who came to town after playing for Eastwood in Sydney. Only spent one year at Ballina but was the best tight-head prop in the competition during the 2014 season. He moved back to Sydney after only a handful of games the following season and finished the year with a premiership win at Eastwood.

 

Second row, Joe Akkersdyk, Lismore City

Lismore junior who came into the first grade side during a time when City had one of the most dominant forward packs in the competition. Did not win a first grade premiership with the Greens but has gone on to win grand finals with the Hamilton Hawks in Newcastle.

 

Second row, Glenn Paisley, Lismore City

Plenty of skill and seemed to get better with age when he moved out of the second row and played more as a loose forward. A fiery customer in every facet of the game and one of the best lineout jumpers to come through the club.

 

Glenn Paisley in 2014.
Glenn Paisley in 2014.

Flanker, Liam Preston, Ballina

Always put in a whole-hearted effort at Ballina and captained the side as a 21-year-old in 2008. He won the FNC Best and Fairest award in 2012 despite missing a fair chunk of the season. Preston moved to Canada early in the 2014 season and should have worn a NSW Country jersey at some stage during his time at Ballina.

 

Flanker, Harry Witt, Lennox Head

Talented flanker who came through the junior system at Lismore before moving on to senior rugby at Lennox Head. He was part of three premierships at the Trojans but missed the 2009 grand final through suspension. He also spent time as captain-coach at Southern Cross University before returning for a further three seasons at the Trojans in 2013.

 

Lennox Head player Harry Witt in 2014.
Lennox Head player Harry Witt in 2014. Marc Stapelberg

Number 8, Jeff Wilson, Lennox Head

Won four consecutive premierships at Lennox Head and also captained the NSW Country side when he was with the Trojans. Wilson provided the experience and x-factor the Trojans needed to win the close games.

 

Harvey Bell from Byron Bay in 2015.
Harvey Bell from Byron Bay in 2015. Cathy Adams

Halfback, Harvey Bell, Byron Bay

One of the best imports to come to Byron Bay and the competition over the past decade. Bell finished the 2015 season as the top try-scorer and also spent time in camp with the NSW Country team. He played most of the grand final with a busted shoulder that year and was close to the best player on the field against an undefeated Wollongbar-Alstonville side.

 

Five-eighth, Ben Damen, Wollongbar-Alstonville

Still at the top of his game and heading into this season off the back of three straight premiership wins. Current NSW Country five-eighth and one of only a few on this list still playing locally.

 

Wollongbar player Ben Damen in 2015.
Wollongbar player Ben Damen in 2015. Marc Stapelberg

Winger, James Vidler, Wollongbar-Alstonville

Top try-scorer in the competition with 28 tries during the Pioneers undefeated season in 2014.

 

Inside centre, Sam Stewart, Lennox Head

Multiple premierships at Lennox and was awarded NSW Country Cockatoos player of the year during the 2011 season. A back injury forced him into early retirement and he has not played since the final competition rounds in 2012.

 

Outside centre, Braidon Boniface, Lennox Head

Did not receive the same amount of accolades as his centre partner but Boniface was a crucial part of the Trojans' success. He went out in the best possible way, retiring after the undefeated 2010 season.

 

Winger, Vinnie Leatigaga, Wollongbar-Alstonville

Scored some spectacular tries and was a nightmare to opposition teams during his one season in the competition in 2015.

 

Fullback, Kane Scott, Ballina

Super boot who could kick his team out of trouble from anywhere on the park. Also played at NSW Country level and captained Ballina in his last year in 2009.



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