SEVEN Clarence Valley players have been selected in the NRRRL squad to compete in the Country Tier 1 Senior Championships.
The 22-man squad was announced during the week which included Ryan Farrell, Aaron Hartmann, Dan Roberts, Tom Freebody (Grafton Ghosts) and Dan Randall, Ryan Binge, Todd Cameron (Lower Clarence).
The team will be coached by Ballina’s Max Beecher who said he was happy with the 22 players selected.
One notable omission from the squad, however, is Grafton Rhinos try-scoring machine Joe Ravueta.
The Fijian flyer must consider himself unlucky not to make the side after devastating performances in the early rounds.
“Joe was right in the mix and was probably unlucky not to make the squad,” Beecher revealed.
“He would most likely be selected on a wing but you have to look at whose place would he take.
“It’s a very strong squad and I think we’ve covered most bases.
“I spoke to most coaches to see who they thought would be capable of stepping up to the next level.
“The squad will be cut to a final 17 in two weeks after we hold our training runs.”
The Northern Rivers side will play the winner of Canberra and Newcastle in round two of the competition and according to Beecher his side should be more than competitive.
“We have plenty of pace out wide with the likes of Clarence Kelly and Fred Waters,” Beecher said.
“We have also picked a bigger pack as last time we were found wanting in the forwards."
Beecher revealed he expected Grafton Ghosts halfback Farrell to be given the captain’s role as well as directing the side around the field.
“Ryan will most likely be captain and we’ll let him run the show,” he said.
“We have Damien Quinn from Murwillumbah and Don Dickson from Ballina who can also direct play.”
Ghosts’ makeshift back-rower Hartmann is expected to be picked in the forwards after being moved from the centres by Ghosts coach Col Speed earlier in the season
“We are definitely looking at playing Aaron in the second-row. He’s a quality footballer and can be very dangerous on the edges,” Beecher added. “Big Tom Freebody also looks like a handy player and Ryan Binge just takes the ball up all day.”
Beecher will also have the services of former Cronulla winger Luke Cowell who is expected to take on the kicking role.