Macksville kids dominate team
SELECTORS have given the seal of approval to the young Macksville under-18 team by asking them to make up one-third of the Group 2 (G2) rugby league representative squad.
Many of the key components of the Bowraville side which won the under-16 junior league title in 2009 have shown the benefit of their first year in Sunday grade and will push hard for higher honours.
The side will participate in the Oxley Pioneers selection trials at Wingham this Saturday with matches scheduled against Group 3 and Group 4.
While the final line-up is still to be confirmed, invitations have been extended to six Sea Eagles to join the team.
As expected, the Macleay Valley club will also be strongly represented with three chosen already and probably a fourth to be added before Friday night’s final training session.
Another interesting choice is Port Sharks centre Tom Sheaves who played almost all of last season in first grade, including the winning grand final side.
Group 2’s representative co-ordinator Greg White said numerous challenges had to be overcome to reach this stage.
“The match is held far too early in the season and our delegates will take that matter up with Country Rugby League,” he said.
“In the current climate it would be far better for us to follow the same structure as the Open side with a two-tier competition running in parallel.
“A shortage of players was no help and certain club officials should have given greater assistance to those charged with preparing a side which actually represents their club and their supporters, whether they have players in the squad or not.”
White paid credit to incoming coaches Paul Chambers and Danny Doolan, chief selector Maurie
Lonergan and ARL Development officer Mike Castle for building the side from scratch.
“Maurie watches these kids from their first steps in the game and his judgment and knowledge is encyclopaedic,” he said.
“Congratulations to all the young men chosen, we trust they enjoy the experience and bring great credit to themselves, their families, clubs and supporters.
“They are sure to bring great credit to the game and we appreciate their efforts.”
Group 2 will play its first match against Tablelands-based Group 4 at 2pm before backing up for the clash with southern neighbour Group 3 at 4.15pm.
2011 Group 2 Under-18 Representatives
1 - Braden Fitzgerald (Macksville)
2 – Kemp London (Macleay Valley)
3 - Tom Sheaves (Port Macquarie)
4 – Silas Robbins (Nambucca Heads)
5 - Michael McPhillips (Macleay Valley)
6 - Jamahl Toby (Macleay Valley)
7 - Jake Fuller (Macksville)
8 - Luke Shields (Macksville)
9 - Matt Mulrooney (Sawtell)
10 - James Cudmore (Port Macquarie)
11 - Ben Mulvihill (Macksville)
12 – Chris Cook (Sawtell)
13 - Clancy Brown (Orara Valley)
14 - TBA
15 - Jim Cutmore (Macksville)
16 - Richard Taffs (Woolgoolga)
17 - Nathan Moran (Coffs Harbour)
18 - Tim Worthing (Macksville)