Group 10 coach Graeme Osborne has named a gangbusters squad for this weekend’s Western divisional trials at Parkes’ Jock Colley Oval, a unit of twenty-two he’s certain can snap Group 11’s recent dominance and earn plenty of Rams jumpers in the process.
It’s a vastly different squad by Group 10’s standards, due to Country Rugby League changing the opens division of its Country Championships to an under-23 tournament.
The Groups, naturally, followed suit with their representative sides.
2016 premiership-winning Mudgee Dragon Nathan Orr has made the side after he proved he was one of the danger-men out wide in the competition.
Six Bathurst Panthers make up the bulk of the 22-strong squad, which also features Orange CYMS guns Ryan Griffin and Cam Jones along with Hawks stars Jedd Kennedy, Ethan McKellar and Nathan Potts.
It will be cut down to 18 before Saturday’s trial.
Osborne’s confidence is far from false hope too, sixteen of the 22-man unit were named in Darren Jackson’s squad for Western’s February trial against the Newcastle Knights – which was ultimately cancelled – and a number of others featured in the Rams’ hefty pre-season program too.
“There was a lot [of players] in that pre-season program and I’d suggest a few boys have their names pencilled into the Rams squad as it is, with a good performance that could turn into permanent ink,” Osborne said.
“Playing well and winning will have a big impact on that obviously and I’d think there’s a big chance for others to force their way in as well.”
With just one training session prior to the trials Osborne said he won’t be instilling any groundbreaking game-plans into the group.
“I don’t think we’ll have them playing with too much structure, they’ll be able to throw the footy around. That’s one thing these competitions allow you to do, you can’t do heaps with one training session anyway,” Osborne said.
“The big thing we’ll be focusing on is exit sets, getting that right and making sure we’re playing in Group 11’s half.”
Saturday’s trial against Group 11 kicks off at 2.50pm.
The Woodbridge Cup and Castlereagh League sides will also play-off, and the division trials also feature Under 18s and league tag.
GROUP 10 SQUAD: Lochie Hobby, Raki Tukeke (Blayney Bears), Rick Nobes (Cowra Magpies), Ryan Griffin, Cam Jones (Orange CYMS), Nathan Potts, Ethan McKellar, Jedd Kennedy (Orange Hawks), Nathan Orr (Mudgee Dragons), Jake Dawe, Michael Ingwersen, Jackson Brien (Oberon Tigers), Jye Barrow, Jarrod Seager, Jedd Betts, Jake Betts, Blake Lawson, Nick Loader (Bathurst Panthers), Matt Ranse, Mitch Squire (Bathurst St Pat’s), Keelan Bresac, Mitch Case (Lithgow Workies).