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The NSW Country Cockatoos and the NSW Country Junior U17’s and U18 teams will feel the winter chill of Canberra with matches being played in the nation’s capital this weekend.
With the representative calendar aligning both the Cockatoos and the Country Juniors will use the opportunity to get together and learn about each other’s strategy, training and game plans.
The senior Country players will also use the time to mentor the younger representatives during a combined training session at the AIS this weekend.
Cockatoos Head Coach Mat Thomas says the opportunity for the senior squad to work with the juniors is something they love doing.
“Everybody gets something out of the experience and we will be actively looking for more of these opportunities and initiatives in the future,” Mat said.
“The players have a wonderful knowledge of the game and providing the opportunity for the U17’s and 18’s to learn from the best players in country rugby is always going to be a tremendous experience for both the coaches and players involved”.
The comments were echoed by the U18’s Country Juniors coach Chris Coleman.
“The opportunity to see the Cockatoos while they’re training and going through their preparation on match day will be a great insight and will help our boys immensely,” Chris said.
The Cockatoos team are in Canberra to play the Brumbies Provincial side for the third year running with the country team winning every contest so far.
The Brumbies Provincial team draws its representatives from senior rugby players in the Southern Inland Rugby Union (SIRU).
On Sunday, the Country U17’s juniors will play a strong ACT team while the U18’s will be involved in a three way playoff with Sydney Junior Rugby Union (SJRU) and ACT Schools.
The Country U18’s and SJRU games will be played to identify potential talent who may have an opportunity to progress into the Gen Blue program for the 2018 season.
Tim Rapp and Pat McCutcheon from the NSW Waratahs Talent Identification were delighted with the Country Colts they saw in Camden a fortnight ago and expect to have a number of players from Country inducted into the talent program.
“It’s so important players have an opportunity to be identified at any stage of the Pathway program and we’re very excited about a few of the Country boys coming through for selection in the Gen Blue teams,” said Pat McCutcheon.
The full program for the weekend in Canberra includes:
NSW Country Cockatoos vs Brumbies Provincial
Tuggeranong Vikings, 4 Amsinck St, Wanniassa ACT 2903
KICK-OFF: 5pm (after Vikings 1st grade fixture)
David Campese Oval, Queanbeyan
10:15am: U17’s NSW Country vs. ACT Brumbies
11:35am: U18’s ACT School vs NSW Country
12:15pm: U18’s SJRU vs. NSW Country
NSW COUNTRY COCKATOOS Vs BRUMBIES PROVINCIAL
SATURDAY, 17 JUNE 2017
No. / Position
1. L / H Prop
3. T / H Prop
4. L / Lock
5. R / Lock
6. B / Flank
7. O / Flank
Paul TUALA (Capt)
8. No 8
Travis BROOKE (V/Capt)
Jono O’TOOLE (V/Capt)
10. Fly half
Far North Coast
11. L / Wing
12. I / Centre
Mid North Coast
13. O / Centre
14. R / Wing
21. Scrum Half
22. Utility Back
23. Utility Back
For further information: Steve O’Brien Executive Director of NSW Country Rugby Union: 0404 194 215