Bryce Speechley trains with Grafton High teammates.
Bryce Speechley trains with Grafton High teammates.

Country honours for rugby stars

By TONY WHITE

CLARENCE Valley rugby union stars Bryce Speechley and Kane Douglas have been selected to represent NSW Country this weekend in Sydney.

Speechley, 16, a Grafton High School student, has been selected in the Under-16 team and Douglas, 17, from Maclean High School, in the Under-17s. Both teams will play Sydney representative sides in the annual City versus Country clash. Speechley, a 196cm, 80kg second-rower, is the younger brother of Jonathon Speechley, who represented NSW Country Under-15s in 2001. It is rare for two brothers from the same town to be selected in country representative teams.

Douglas, a younger brother of Cronulla first grader Luke Douglas, recently returned from the Gold Coast carnival with the Country Under-17s, going through the tournament ? boasting numerous international teams ? undefeated before going down narrowly in the final to St Pauls, New Zealand. The two latest country representatives join the likes of Cody Hearfield from Grafton High, who represented last year.

Douglas is in line for selection in the NSW Under-17 team, which will be announced following the City-Country match this weekend. Speechley will turn out for NSW Country at the Australian Championships, scheduled for October. The youngster harbours a desire to continue his rugby and higher representative honours after school.

"Hopefully I can go to Sydney and play with Randwick or Warringah," he said. "The biggest goal is to obviously play for Australia one day, but anything in between is a bonus."



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