Local rugby derby an episode of new faces

MYSTERY surrounds the new-look Southern Cross University team that will take the field against Coffs Harbour in today's local derby at Marlins Park.

Coach Dave Nicol will include around six new faces as the club attempts to turn its fortunes around, starting with the Snappers.

UP THERE: Mat Quirk and Morgan McDonogh soar high for the ball in the last Coffs local derby.
UP THERE: Mat Quirk and Morgan McDonogh soar high for the ball in the last Coffs local derby. Leigh Jensen

SCU is still to achieve a win over the cross-town rivals since re-entering the zone but in both 2014 battles managed to get within one converted try of their foes.

With a disjointed start to the season, the premiership race begins in earnest today with Marlins hosting four grades and a golden oldies confrontation.

Coffs Harbour is also doing some renovations and coach Rob Waddy is seeking the breakthrough win of the year.

"We were a little worried about the start but after having 46 guys at training on Tuesday night and then six full teams on Thursday night across all grades, it is certainly a sign that everyone is keen to play some rugby," he said. "Marlins have never beaten us in first grade and while it's inevitable it will happen one day, I am confident it won't be this weekend.

"That is if the squad of 22 that's been named play well."

Snappers will look to the leadership of veterans Craig Landrigan and skipper Kris Kent to lead the way.

"Our front three are fairly young at heart but are looking forward to taking on the big SCU pack," Waddy added.

"Lachie Cummins, Billy Mills and Patrick Murray are certainly looking forward to getting their hands dirty."

Mid North Coast Rugby's biggest personality, Waqa Yaya, has been named in the run on side and for those who are yet to see the great winger create tries from nothing, today is the day to watch rugby at the University Oval.



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