Old Pioneers in Sydney team
FORMER Wollongbar-Alstonville Pioneers players Bill Johnston and Tim Perkins will line up for Sydney Sub-Districts against the NSW Country Cockatoos at Allianz Stadium in Sydney tonight.
Johnston is the vice-captain of the Sydney team, while Perkins will make his debut off the bench.
The pair will come up against some familiar opposition, with Lennox Head Trojans players Sam Stewart, Jeff Wilson and Jake Robinson representing the Cockatoos.
Johnstone will team up with another former Pioneer next weekend when he and Alex Gibbon play in a NSW City v Country game.
In Far North Coast rugby this afternoon, the Pioneers face a tough test at home when they take on the Ballina Seahorses at Lyle Park, Wollongbar.
Front-rower Justin Whicker will play his 200th game at the club, while five-eighth Jake McIntyre will miss the match because of representative commitments in Sydney.
He will be replaced by Adam Law, who hasn't played since the opening round of the competition because of a knee injury.
"We probably won't have Jake for about six weeks, so we needed to bring someone in who could cover the position for that long," Pioneers coach Ben Grayndler said.
"Adam is more of a fullback but we've lost about four of our five-eighths this season already."
The Pioneers are still stinging after a heartbreaking 30-29 loss to Lennox Head last weekend.
"It was a tough one to lose but we haven't changed anything," Grayndler said.
"It's still early in the season and it will be business as usual.
"Our enthusiasm is there and we've just about had the same forward pack every week. At the start of the season we just wanted to be competitive. I think we're there and doing a bit more."
In other games, the Casino Bulls are fresh off a bye and will chase their third win of the season against the Lennox Head Trojans at Albert Park, Casino.
The match between Southern Cross University and the Grafton Redmen has been moved to Grafton because Maurie Ryan Oval, East Lismore, has been closed
Both teams will be desperate for a win after the Redmen went down 18-17 to Lismore and the Gold Rats lost 29-26 to Ballina last weekend.
Games kick off at 3.15pm.
Lismore City has the bye.