Exciting Bellingen forward Vaughan Babbini has been included in the Group 2 under-18 squad.
Exciting Bellingen forward Vaughan Babbini has been included in the Group 2 under-18 squad.

4 spots left in under-18 rep squad

GROUP 2 rugby league selectors have announced an initial 14-man representative squad after under-18 selection trials at Macksville’s Allen Gillett Oval yesterday.

Rep season co-ordinator Greg White said the final four members of the squad would be chosen after next weekend’s opening round of official club trials.

“A couple of positions in the backline are hotly contested and the coach and selectors decided to have another look at the possible candidates next weekend,” he said.

“They’ve decided to check the form of seven young blokes in particular and I hope the weather clears so they have the best chance of impressing next Saturday and Sunday in their home matches.

“The selectors will share themselves around so they all are seen under match conditions.”

Burly lock forward Kristian Kelly has been named in the initial squad and is the sole survivor of the Oxley Pioneers team coached by Peter Barrett which reached the grand final of the 2009 Country Rugby League championships.

And both graduates of last year’s Group 2 team, Vaughan Babbini and Tyler Doolan, are back in the selection and will play important roles at the Oxley round robin against Groups 3 and 4 in Tamworth on March 27.

Coach Peter Barrett had plenty of praise when he met with his latest bunch of rookies, after their names were read out.

“Take it from me your NRL career starts from this moment,” he said.

“Be aware of your responsibilities and you’ll be amazed how easy things start to become and how much fun you’re going to have.”

The team will gather for a fitness check and training run at Macksville next Wednesday at 5.45pm.

UNDER-18 SQUAD

WOOLGOOLGA: Marshall Wall, Kayden Gleeson, Mitch Dockrey, Steve Goodwin.

ORARA VALLEY: John Graham, Ben Law.

SAWTELL: Chris Dickenson.

BELLINGER VALLEY: Vaughan Babbini.

NAMBUCCA HEADS: Pat Sneesby, Jayden Austen.

MACKSVILLE: Tyler Doolan.

MACLEAY VALLEY: Linc Callaghan, Ryan Nottley.PORT MACQUARIE: Kristian Kelly.

Full team announced with four additions next Sunday.



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