The North Coast will have its first squad session on November 21.
The North Coast will have its first squad session on November 21.

Rep rugby to begin in November

THERE’LL be little respite in the off-season for rugby players with incoming Mid North Coast zone representative coach Ron McCarthy claiming November 21 as the date for the first whole squad training session.

“At this session, players will be introduced to the general team play,” he said.

“The session will also enable a reinforcement of the off-season conditioning program which all players will be expected to have commenced by this stage.

“Training programs will concentrate on the development of speed and strength training should be aligned to this.

“A detailed guide for this program will be distributed to each player who is either nominated or nominates himself for selection.

“This conditioning program will be done in small groups in each local area with the conduct up to individuals under guidance.”

Zone administrator Des Hoy admits the territorial stretch presents a number of obvious problems.

With McCarthy living close to Southern Pool players, the recruitment of northern candidates is underway.

“The squad is being assembled now and I’m just waiting for replies from a couple of players,” Hoy revealed.

Top of that list are Coffs Rugby’s Fijian flyers.

Vili Vatuvili won the Kullen Beathe Memorial Award as top representative player of 2010 and his combination with David Kikau on the edge of the scrum demands their inclusion if available.

Dylan Hurley should be considered and Richard Officer’s late season form and ability to cover a number of positions in the backline makes him an ideal insurance policy.

However, the biggest surprise comes from the age teams with Coffs Harbour holding the under-19 title and most players already blooded in first grade.

The zone will field an under-18 side to be coached by Darren Drury while Mark Hudson will be in charge of an under-20 squad for a one-off match in Lismore next March if enough players are available.

Former Country Cockatoos flyhalf David Birch will assist McCarthy and the coaching team.

“We are making arrangements for three trials early next year,” McCarthy added.

“Possibly against Central Coast on February 12, probably New England on February 26 and most likely with Far North Coast on March 5.

“This will allow two more whole squad sessions (in January and February) after the first one next month.

“This should be an exciting and enjoyable campaign which players are urged to take advantage of.

“Let’s give this representative program a real shake.”

All players wishing to take part should contact Des Hoy in Coffs Harbour or email Ron McCarthy on

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