A country boy

THIS morning Coffs Rugby prop Hugh Campbell flies out to Adelaide after receiving a late call-up to the NSW Country Team.

The 27-year-old who was a member of the Country Cockatoos' squad last year is playing against South Australia tomorrow in the final round of the Australian Rugby Shield.

Being so late in the Shield series, Campbell admitted to thinking that his chances of higher selection honours in 2008 had basically disappeared.

"It was a really nice surprise especially so near the end of their campaign, I thought my chances were, well, done and dusted," he said yesterday.

"For the last game someone is very unlucky to be missing out."

Currently the Cockatoos are sitting two points behind Queensland Country on the Shield table but a win tomorrow will see NSW Country named as the series winners as the Queenslanders have the bye this weekend.

"I've had a look at the table and it's definitely a nice position to be in to be coming into the side for the last game," Campbell said.

Excited to simply be back in the squad, the amiable Welshman admitted he has yet to find out what plans the coaching staff have for him in tomorrow's clash.

"I've no idea what sort of role I'll be taking on, obviously it will be in the front row but I don't know whether I'll be starting or whether it is just off the bench," he said.

Many rugby pundits were surprised Campbell's name wasn't part of the original squad considering the improvement he has added to his already impressive array of skills thanks to the extra work he did over summer.

"I did a lot of sevens but I also did a lot of ski and waveboarding over the summer which I think paid dividends in my upper body strength," the prop said of his summer training regime.

With the experience of playing last year under his belt, Campbell admits that his approach to tomorrow's match is more subdued than what it was 12 months ago.

"I look at it as being a bit of an opportunity to go out there and have a run with a few good players and play a different level of rugby compared to what I'm used to."


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