THE campaign to win back the title of Mid North Coast Zone premier team begins for Coffs Rugby Club today.
Breakers and Crushers first grade outfits have pooled resources to enter a high quality team in today’s Crescent Head Rugby Sevens tournament at the Ian Walton Memorial Field.
The games will begin at 8am and matches will continue simultaneously on two adjacent fields, with the grand finals due to start around 5.30pm.
This year’s headline act is the ACT Brumbies, with an academy side competing, led by head coach and former Kempsey Cannonballs player Darren Coleman.
Other elite sides entered include Sydney Easts, Parramatta, Drummoyne, Newcastle and Sunnybank from Brisbane.
Coffs Rugby publicist Dr Paul Butcher said pre-season activities are coming together nicely.
“Training has been going since the first week in January and there are 30 guys out there so far, with 10 or so new ones,” he said.
“A few of them will be new first graders too, which is good.
“We have a squad of 15 players going to Crescent Head and in coming weeks have organised away trips to trial in Grafton and Guyra, as well as attending the Armidale knockout.
“Overall, it should be a good hit out and our rep players will have as many as half a dozen games up their sleeves, so we should hit the ground running this year.”
While all rep sides are still to be finalised, prominent open grade candidates include Craig Landrigan, Dylan Hurley, Kris Kent, Vile Vatuvile, Brendon Robins, Dwayne Fox and Nick Joyce.
Coffs Rugby Club is also angling for the services of born-and-bred local Hugh Amos who has returned to the local region with the Abigroup.
Amos was a prominent junior who graduated to first grade with Brisbane Wests and spent last year playing rugby in the United Kingdom.
Many stars from the 2010 premiership-winning under-19 side will get senior opportunities this year with John Korff, Matt Spence, Chris Tonks, Lachlan Foley, Tim Hartmann, Daniel Wilson, Stu McVicar and Karnunny Pearce the most prominent.
Butcher said the club is still to formalise the full list of coaching appointments.
“At this stage we have one new first grade coach but do not want to advertise it until we have secured another one,” he added.
“We are also still looking for reserve-grade and under-19 coaches.”