MATCH-READY: Hughie Stanley, with son Ochre, is set to star for Lower Clarence Magpies at the Coffs Coast 9s tournament.
MATCH-READY: Hughie Stanley, with son Ochre, is set to star for Lower Clarence Magpies at the Coffs Coast 9s tournament. Caitlan Charles

Magpies, Rebels ready for Coffs Coast 9s

RUGBY LEAGUE: The Lower Clarence Magpies and South Grafton Rebels will both be looking to use the Hoey Moey Tooheys Coffs Coast 9s competition to build on their pre-season preparations ahead of the start of the 2018 season.

For Hughie Stanley, the weekend will be the first time the five-eighth wears the black and white of the Magpies in almost a decade.

Magpies president Bruce Howard said the team was keen to make the trip south to take part in the competition.

"We're training out at Yamba now. We've moved there on a permanent basis and we're getting good numbers so we're confident we can put together a good side," Howard said.

"The pre-season has been good, we're looking good with our fitness levels and everyone at the club is in a good frame of mind."

South Grafton Rebels coach Ron Gordon said he was looking forward to seeing the team in action for the first time since their Group 2 grand final loss to the Grafton Ghosts.

"The pre-season has been full on and we've had really good numbers, everyone has been putting in the hard work," Gordon said.

"The fitness stuff is behind us now, so we're getting into the ball work and drills. The competition will be a good chance for us to have a hit out, get a few more k's in their legs and have a bit of fun at the same time. We will try and be competitive but it is what it is, if we do well that's good but if not, we'll have a good time."

Gordon said he was hoping to use the Coffs Coast 9s competition as a chance to test some new combinations.

"I want to share it around, last year I focused a lot on the first grade side so this year I'll try and give everyone a go," he said.

"Kieren Stewart who played fullback for us last year is going to slide into hooker this year. He played a few games there last year and he is willing and ready to learn to play hooker."

The Hoey Moey Tooheys Coffs Coast 9s will kick off from 1.30pm on Saturday at Geoff King Motors Oval, Coffs Harbour. For full details of the competition draw, visit the Group 2 Facebook page.



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