The Far North Coast Junior Rugby Union under-16 representative squad.
The Far North Coast Junior Rugby Union under-16 representative squad.

Three locals make rugby rep team

GRAFTON’S Jayden Darke will have some Clarence company in the Far North Coast Junior Rugby Union under-16 representative squad with Yamba pair Rick Mitchell and Dylan Spagnolo also given the green light.

Last weekend, the core of the Far North Coast’s top under-16 age junior rugby union players descended on the Lake Ainsworth Sport and Recreation Centre at Lennox Head for a training and development camp.

The camp brought together players from the Brunswick Heads, Wollongbar, Lismore, Casino, Lennox Head, Yamba and Grafton clubs for a weekend of rugby skills and fitness.

The weekend was also a chance for players aiming to be part of the successful under-16 Far North Coast representative side to understand the commitment required to play at a high level.

The tough skills & fitness sessions were tailored to assess individuals strengths and weaknesses and also provide the coaching staff an overview of potential team dynamics.

Coaching staff were impressed with the players abilities and the way they took to their tasks with enthusiasm.

The squad will now play a number of trial games before heading to the Country Championships in Armidale on the Anzac Day Long Weekend.

In addition, the majority of the squad will also represent the strong North Coast Academy of Sport Rugby Program at the Academy Games in Armidale at Easter.

Last year, this side was the convincing winner of the NSW Country Championships, going thru the championships undefeated.

Eleven members of the team went on to higher representative honours.

With the core of last years successful squad retained and a number of exciting new prospects in training, expectations are high that these results can be repeated or even bettered this year.

If the commitment shown and improvement in the players skills over the weekend is an indicator of performance, all looks promising at this stage.

The 2010 Country Championship Qualifying Matches were played on March 20, with the favoured zones taking out the matches in the seniors and colts.

Newcastle Hunter opened their championship defence with a hard fought 39–3 victory over the Far North Coast at Nelson Bay.

The scoreline didn’t depict the intensity of the contest, with the Novocastrians having to work overtime late in the match to overcome the Dolphins.

The first half was very even with both teams restricting the other’s scoring opportunities with very strong defence, which saw Newcastle Hunter go to the break with a slim 10-3 lead.

The second half continued on as the first, but the Newcastle Hunter pack slowly took control of the play, which enabled them to post a rush of late points.

In the Colts the Central Coast and Illawarra had to overcome half time deficits to defeat Central North and the Lloyd McDermott Foundation, while Newcastle Hunter and Central West had comfortable wins over Far North Coast and New England.

Next weekend sees the Country Weekend being played at Belmont, with the finals of the Caldwell Cup, Richardson Shield, Colts Championship and Plate on March 27-28.

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