Get your first look at Woopi White Pointers

By DAVE MORRISON

Rugby union

THE Mighty River Grafton Redmen kick their season off today when they host three other Far North Coast clubs in trial games at Rugby Park, South Grafton. A first grade trial against Casino is the main fare, starting at 3pm, and while both sides will be somewhat depleted due to representative and pre-season commitments, last year's memorable major semi-final between the two sides will still be in the back of every player's mind. Lower grade trials against Byron Bay and the newly formed Woolgoolga White Pointers will precede the main game from 1pm, producing a feast of pre-season rugby action. While only a trial, the main game promises to provide plenty of entertainment, with Casino's young and inventive backline sure to test the Redmen and make for a free-flowing affair. Grafton coach Gary Powell has had his charges undertaking plenty of fitness and ball work for two months, and they would be eager to get their teeth into some real action. There are some new and familiar faces in the Redmen lineup, which will probably result in some lack of cohesion. However, this should be balanced by their fitness, enabling Grafton to play an up-tempo game. With four senior grades, including Under-19s, being fielded this season, today's trials are an important lead-up to the competition proper, with the start of the competition just a fortnight away. A highlight of the lower grade trials will be the first outing of country rugby's newest club, the Woopi White Pointers. Formed by an ex-Grafton connection of Glen Hull and Paul Kenneally, they are a great and long overdue addition to the local rugby scene and promise to add additional flavour to the competition.



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