Cockatoos get boot
A 30-MAN Country Cockatoos squad assembled at Gosford on the weekend to participate in a high performance training camp and a game on Saturday between Possible and Probables.
The selectors had to reduce the squad to 25 for the games against the Waratah Academy and a touring Japanese team on the Anzac weekend.
The selectors task was made easier when three of the Central Coast players decided to disregard the curfews set by the management and as result were given the boot from the squad on Sunday.
Many of our young sports people are slow learners and have no respect for parameters set by management.
Congratulations to the management who made the decision the players in question would have been the first picked for the Cockatoos.
It is pleasant to report that the Coffs Harbour pair at the camp Kevin Simpson and Matt Hoy conducted themselves well on and off the field both being selected to go to Sydney on the Anzac weekend.
Simpson had the opportunity to play an international against Scotland last year with former Coffs player Dave Hales and I am sure he and Hoy would like to have the same opportunity to plat the international against Samoa in Wollongong in June.
Northern NSW has come a drift?
Four Country zones will participate in the Shute Shield in 2006.
Twelve Sydney clubs and the four country zones will participate, form- ing two pools of eight teams and a final will be played the week after the final of the Super Fourteen.
The five Northern Country zones will not participate and a huge chasm will develop in playing standards in Country.
Not only will the players be denied the opportunity to play rugby at a much higher level the towns and cities in the north will not have the opportunity to host clubs like Manly Randwick and Sydney University when they are visiting the country areas to play for the shield.
More Kiwis in Town
Next week we will have another Kiwi rugby side visit our lovely city and challenge our young men on the rugby field.
This team comes from Waiuku in the North Island and will be wel- comed by some of the ex rugby players at Coffs because the original Coffs Snappers toured New Zealand and visited their club in 1975.
On the wall of their club house is a large photo of the particular game played 30 years ago, with Coffs Harbour's flying winger Geoff Leap in full flight watched from afar by Phil Croft, Ken Alderman and Chris Ockie Williams.
Most of the ageing tourists are still in town and this gives them an op- portunity to have a small re union.
n SYDNEY (AAP): Robust Lachlan Mackay will return to the five eighth's hot seat on Saturday as the Waratahs attempt to blunt the individual brilliance of his Brumbies opposite Matt Giteau.
Big but regarded as brittle after a string of injuries disrupted much of his Super 12 career, Mackay has a 15kg weight advantage over a player regarded as one of the most dangerous attackers in the game.
Mackay trained at No.10 in preparation for the key match in Canberra and will squeeze Shaun Berne out of a position almost annually regarded as NSW's Achilles heal.
Berne is expected to be relegated to the bench with hard running Nathan Grey staying at inside centre.
Mackay has been eased back into the game from the bench since returning for the round six match against the Crusaders but showed enough with a strong individual try and sound kicking game.