Out to impress in the NRRRL
SIX players will have a final chance to impress ahead of the representative season when Marist Brothers host Ballina in Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League at Oakes Oval, Lismore, tonight.
Northern Rivers coach Max Beecher will be at the game with an Under-23 team to be picked on Monday for the NSW Country Championships at Wauchope next weekend.
The new format this season means there is no open competition, which wiped out most of last year's team.
Brothers players Jake Hoban, Wally Kelly, Kyle Kennedy and Lachie Perren should be easy to spot, with the Rams wearing special pink jerseys tonight.
Kelly will be looking to lock down the starting halfback position with the other three fighting it out for a spot in the forwards.
Beecher has already named Ballina second-rower Anthony Colman as the Under-23s captain after his performance at the championships last year.
Seagulls lock Michael Dwane has enjoyed a strong start to the season and should be somewhere in the final 17.
Ballina is undefeated after three rounds while Brothers have impressed in recent weeks with back-to-back wins against Kyogle and Byron Bay.
"I expect a big game from Kyle Kennedy and Lachie Perren ahead of the rep round,” Rams captain Paul O'Neill said.
"We're starting to build and this is a game that we always look forward to.
"Ballina have been a really good team for a few seasons now so it's always a good chance to see where you're at.”
There will be plenty of rugby league with a full club day including the juniors from Under-7s kicking off at 8am all the way through to first grade at 6.30pm.
The jerseys will be auctioned at the Rous Hotel after the game as a fund- raiser for Lismore cancer charity Jodie's Inspiration.
"It's always good to see the kids getting involved and it's obviously a charity that we support and have had a lot to do with,” O'Neill said.
In other games:
Evans Head has its first home game of the season when it hosts the Casino Cougars at Stan Payne Oval, Evans Head, today. Kick-off is 3pm.
There will be no love lost when Cudgen hosts Murwillumbah in a grand final rematch at Ned Byrne Field, Kingscliff tomorrow.
Lower Clarence takes on Mullumbimby at the Yamba Sports Complex.
Tweed Coast Raiders are at home to Byron Bay at Les Burger Field, Cabarita.