Battle for shield
COFFS Rugby and Dorrigo Rangers rugby union players will have their last chance to impress Mid North Coast selectors today in a trial against New England at Dorrigo.
The two zones will compete for the Arthur Tonkin Shield, which was previously played for by club sides from the two zones.
Selectors have named a first XV and shadow XV for the game which sees representative rugby in Dorrigo for the first time in many years.
All eight MNC clubs will be represented in the Axemen first XV, with Dan Thomas (Forster) and Trent Angwin (Old Bar) forcing their way into the starting line-up.
Mid North Coast manager Bruce Worboys described Thomas as an exciting prospect.
"He beats a man well on the outside, which is what you always look for in a winger," he said.
Worboys said selectors opted for size in the tight five.
"We have two big men in the second row, which pushes (Coffs Rugby second rower) Craig Landrigan to No. 8.
"If we get some good go-forward, I'm confident we will do well against New England.
"We have a very good backline, particularly if (new Coffs signing) Matt Ellis is fit."
Loosehead prop Ross Waugh will represent Dorrigo on his home turf.
All Mid North Coast first XV players are to assemble at Dorrigo Recreation Ground at 2pm.
The Under-20s will play at 3.30pm, with the opens match to kick off at 5.15pm. All amenities will be available at the ground.
Meanwhile, NSW Rugby Union will be conducting two Level 1 foundation coaching/refereeing courses on the North Coast in April.
Courses will be held at Kempsey (April 8) and Grafton (April 10), the cost is $66.
Mid North Coast Axemen first XV (shadow players in brackets): 15. Adam Brunton, Coffs Rugby (Phil Hand, Kempsey); 14. Adam Clay, Kempsey (Jay Webber, Coffs); 13. Kevin Simpson, Coffs (Andrew Reneger, Coffs); 12. Glen Kerr, Kempsey (Brendan Hoy, Coffs); 11. Dan Thomas, Forster (Glen Matiske, Manning Ratz); 10. Matt Ellis, Coffs (Hugh Campbell, Coffs); 9. Jarrod Fuller, Kempsey (Peter Fry, Manning); 8. Craig Landrigan, Coffs (Lance Byrne, Kempsey); 7. Chris Webb, Coffs (Gus Arnell, Port Pirates); 6. Connor Barrett, Coffs (Chris Hunter, Kempsey); 5. Trent Angwin, Old Bar (Jason Partridge, Hastings Vikings); 4. David Tunstead, Hastings (Nic Joyce, Coffs); 3. Matt Hoy, Coffs (Brett Ramage, Manning); 2. Mark Marchant, Coffs (Simon Bath, Manning); 1. Ross Waugh, Dorrigo (Tim Elliott, Manning).
Mid North Coast Axemen Under-20s; Duncan Chubb, Hugh Campbell, Andrew Mallum, Andre Holmes, Tom Day (Coffs); John Kahler, Rowan Jones, Dylan McNeill, Corey Waters, Aaron Robertson (Port); Callum Berrigan (Kempsey); Mathew Mason, Nathan Spencer, Jake Howitz, Mitch Lee (Manning Ratz); Chad Lambert, Daniel Stevenson (Old Bar); Dan Hessing, Richard Fear (Forster) Steve Tonkin, Jonathon Edwards, Dylan Cooper, Chris Ward, Jason Burt, Peter Ballard, Jamie Zwiggle, David Bosco, Tim Reilly, David Gorter (Hastings).