Talented youngsters get rep honour
TWO outstanding young Coffs Harbour Rugby players have been chosen in the Mid North Coast Axemen's team to play Far North Coast for the Observer Trophy in Yamba on June 6.
Coffs Breakers' front rowers Lachlan Chubb and Tim Metcher were named for the representative clash after Saturday's Abigroup Cup trial in Tuncurry.
Their selections, coupled with those of Forster Tuncurry's 18-year-old utility back Max Elmes and Wallamba's open-side flanker Daniel Hessing, shows that selectors have turned to some young blood to inject some life into the Axemen.
Young blood and old, the Axemen will field a worthy team at last with Port Pirates club providing five players in centres - Tim Platt and Matt Mane, half Tom Vallentine, No 8 Ian Hinklen and prop Gabriel Holmes - after two years of non-representation from the champion MNC side.
Another three Coffs Harbour players were selected for the highly anticipated clash.
Dylan Hurley, Will Guest and Craig Landrigan were all impressive in the trial match played on Saturday and have been justly rewarded with an Axemen jersey.
With Coffs Crushers' former Country Cockatoo and long-time MNC representative prop Matt Hoy unsure about his representative future, Old Bar Clams' tight-head Brett Ramage has been added to the squad.
Several players missed selection because of employment or family reasons, two being the Dolphins' No 8 John Vakaahi and half Brad Durham, while Old Bar were unfortunate not to have a fourth player chosen in hooker Teia Ambrosoli after shining with team-mates Ramage, loose-head Murray Polson and strong-tackling centre Adam Gregory.
Fourteen players are from the Upper MNC towns of Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour while the Lower MNC region, which embraces the six Southern Shield clubs, provided eight players, its best Axemen's representation for years.
The following players have been selected in the MNC Axemen squad: