RETURNING HOME: South Grafton Rebels centre Austin Cooper will play his first game back for the club this weekend when they host Bellingen Valley/Dorrigo Magpies at McKittrick Park.
RETURNING HOME: South Grafton Rebels centre Austin Cooper will play his first game back for the club this weekend when they host Bellingen Valley/Dorrigo Magpies at McKittrick Park. Matthew Elkerton

Fresh legs boost Rebels ahead of Magpies clash

RUGBY LEAGUE: After signing with the Sawtell Panthers for the 2018 season, centre Austin Cooper will be welcomed back by South Grafton for their clash tomorrow against the Bellingen Valley/Dorrigo Magpies.

The Rebels will also welcome back fellow centre Oral Monaghan, who is returning to the side after suffering a fractured ankle at training before the season started.

With some experience and class returning to the first grade side, Rebels coach Craig Youngjohns said the team was looking stronger than the one that earned a 22-8 win over Orara Valley last weekend.

"The good thing about having blokes like Austin and Oral back in the side is that it puts pressure on everyone to perform and it adds a bit more depth,” he said. "Everyone is really looking forward to the game, training has been really good and we will be looking to build off our performance from last weekend.”

With the Rebels looking to earn back-to-back wins for the first time this season, Youngjohns said it was important the side played at its best in front of the McKittrick Park home crowd tomorrow.

While the Bellingen/Valley Dorrigo Magpies languish at the bottom of the Group 2 premiership table, the Rebels are only one win above them and they know the Magpies will be hungry to earn their first win of the season. "We never take games lightly, we will be going out with the same mentality and intensity we do with every game,” Youngjohns said.

GAME DAY: South Grafton Rebels host Bellingen Valley/Dorrigo Magpies at McKittrick Park, with Ladies League Tag kicking off at 11am.



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