Another honour for top Sea Eagle
By GREG WHITE
PREMIERSHIP-winning Macksville coach Paul Davis will attempt to add another scalp to his growing list of conquests after being appointed head of the Group 2 representative squad.
Davis replaces last season's Group and North Coast supremo, Mark Morrison.
But Morrison won't be lost to the senior coaching ranks, given the nod as deputy to Davis, and taking charge of the Under 18 squad.
"Paul has what it takes to do the job," Group 2 secretary Peter O'Grady told the Coffs Coast Advocate.
"There isn't much left for him to achieve in football so this is another honour he richly deserves."
The annual Group 2 versus Group 3 game will be played on Saturday, April 22, in the Group 3 area, most likely at Harry Elliot Oval, Tuncurry.
The southerners face a tall order rolling their northern neighbours with one draw their best result at senior level in over a decade.
With a massive influx of quality players into the domestic competition for 2006, combined with the established performers, Davis has an embarrassment of talent available for moulding a winning combination.
Selectors will have two official trials and two rounds of the minor premiership to run their eye over potential squad members.
The winning coach of the inter-Group clash will be an automatically promoted to the North Coast job with the losing coach his assistant.
Group 2 chairman Greg Mayhew said the Division would have its first outing in the Country championships when it clashes with Newcastle in an elimination round at Port Macquarie on May 6.
"Yes, I know it's a sudden death game first up and Lord knows, we've copped more than our share in the past," Mayhew said.
"But at least the CRL has promised we won't get another elimination game for four years."
Measures taken since Mayhew's election to the Divisional presidency are expected to curtail the debacles and bitterness that swirled during 2005's representative campaign.
Both Group coaches will be included on the selection panel with an equal voice to the administrative members.
A Country Rugby League- appointed arbiter will be named to break deadlocks and no team changes will be allowed until Mayhew and the coaches have been consulted.
Meanwhile, Mayhew said no decisions were made at the recent CRL conference on the future structure of the regions.
"We workshopped a lot of ideas and discussed policy suggestions," he said.
"These will be collated and sent out to the Groups for more discussion.
"Nothing will change before 2007.
"There are many important modifications required and we want to get it right at the start, rather than jump the gun, make a mess, and be forced to fix things later."