WORKING TOGETHER: St John Paul College rugby team is made up of Marlins and Snappers.
WORKING TOGETHER: St John Paul College rugby team is made up of Marlins and Snappers. Contributed

Rugby young guns seizing the limelight

EVERY sporting organisation declares the importance of junior development, but what is happening in the two Coffs Coast rugby clubs now has turned the local game on its head.

So many talented young men are playing representative rugby at present that it's leaving club first grade sides short and forcing a huge turnover on the playing rosters as inevitable injuries take a toll.

Not that Coffs Snappers and SCU Marlins' development people are complaining when two NSW captains emerge on the same day in the past week - Jack Winchester at the Australian Schoolboys and Brad Thorn leading NSW under-18s.

Jack's team beat Western Australia and Brad's team had a physical game, winning 34-0 against New Zealand school Pakuranga before turning around to defeat South Australia 38-0.

Then there's the St John Paul College opens rugby team made up primarily of Marlins and Snappers arriving at the pointy end of the Waratah Shield.

They next play Epping Boys High, with the winner going into the decider at TJ Milner Field at the end of August.

However, today means club rugby with SCU hosting Wauchope at Marlins Park.

SCU won't be defending their premiership but are hot favourites to take the points against the winless Thunder.

Snappers have the trickiest assignment of the weekend with a trip to Crescent Head to meet Kempsey, who, while also out of semi-final contention, are always a handful at home and will be no pushover.

MNC RUGBY

SCU v Wauchope

Kempsey v Coffs Harbour

Port Macquarie v Hastings

Points

Redmen 51

Vikings 45

Snappers 32

Pirates 32

Cannonballs 18

Marlins 18

Thunder -1



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