Wally Kelly in action in an NRRRL game
Wally Kelly in action in an NRRRL game Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Young players get a chance

NORTHERN Rivers has selected a squad to represent the region in the new Under-23 format at the New South Wales Country Rugby League Championships at Wauchope next weekend.

It will be a tough ask first up in the knock-out competition when they take on Newcastle.

"We'll have a pretty handy side and some of these guys have played rep footy at open level already,” coach Max Beecher said.

"We've got less players to pick from under the new format so hopefully everyone can stay healthy and injury free.”

There is no shortage of talent in the team with second-rower Anthony Colman and front-rower Caleb Ziebell in the forwards.

Both played at open level last year and were unlucky not to be selected in the NSW Country Bulls team.

"Anthony will captain the side and he's a guy that will lead by example,” Beecher said.

"He was a Titans NYC player of the year and is a big chance to make the Country team after his performances last year.”

The bulk of the Northern Rivers side will come from Kyogle and Marist Brothers.

Jake Hoban, Wally Kelly, Kyle Kennedy and Lachie Perren have all been selected from the Rams.

Kelly will steer the side around from halfback while the other three will play in the forwards.

Kyogle centre Marty Ferguson is a handy inclusion with Lachlan Crawter, Kale Nicholson and Jakob Smith expected to feature somewhere in the side.

Ballina lock Michael Dwane has been rewarded for his strong start to the season and could be a key attacking weapon off the bench.

There is also a fair Tweed representation in the team with Cudgen hooker Myles Donnelly and Brock Foggo likely to end up in the starting team.

Foggo had a big season for Tweed Coast in Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League last season and is now with Cudgen.

Murwillumbah second-rower Jonty Van De Scheur has also been named in the squad along with Cudgen centre Sam Harold and Tweed Coast front-rower Kalani Hensby.

The squad trains at Ballina this Saturday.



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