Country Under 23’s Ready For First Match

The Country Under-23’s arrived in Brisbane yesterday ahead of their Papua New Guinean tour where they will take on the Digicell Cup Representative team at Port Moresby’s National Football Stadium.

Five Monaro representatives make the team due to their impressive performances in the Country Championships with Ryan McQueen, Ryley Thomas, Derek Hay, Nukurua Ngere and Ron Leapai all featuring.

Speaking with crlnsw.com.au, Country Coach Josh Cale admitted he was looking forward to the experience of working with some of Regional NSW’s finest up and coming Rugby League talent after last year’s success against Scotland and Samoa.

“I think it will be a great experience,” said Cale.

“I don’t think any of our boys have been there before and it’s something many players never get to experience. Rugby League is the national sport of Papua New Guinea and I’m sure it’s going to be quite a challenge for our players.”

The Country Under-23’s hit the training paddock this afternoon ahead of tomorrow night’s warm-up match against the Australian Defence Force in Ipswich and Cale admitted he was impressed by what he saw.

“I thought we trained really well.

“We had a big day of travel so we didn’t want to out here for too long, but the boys warmed up well and it was probably a little bit more than we expected but I thought they adjusted really well and we’re looking forward to it.

“The Defence Force side has an element of the unknown to it for us, so we’ll need to make sure we’re prepared for whatever comes our way and we’ll worry about that game first before shifting our focus to PNG.”

The Country Under-23’s will take on the Australian Defence Force at Len Johnson Oval, Ipswich on Tuesday. 9th October. Kick-Off at 5:00pm.

2018 Men’s Under-23’s Country Representative Team

1. Ryan McQueen (Monaro / West Belconnen)
2. Owen Blair (North Coast / Port City Breakers)
3. Zac Johnson (North Coast / Nambucca Heads)
4. Ryley Thomas (West Belconnen / Monaro)
5. Michael Dwane (Northern Rivers / Ballina)
6. Derek Hay (Monaro / Queanbeyan Kangaroos)
7. Sam Elwin (Riverina / Temora)
8. Caleb Ziebel (Northern Rivers / Cudgen)
9. Joe Besgrove (Northern Rivers / Murwillumbah)
10. Jack Kavanagh (Illawarra South Coast / Shellharbour)
11. Nuk Ngere (Monaro / Queanbeyan Kangaroos)
12. Anthony Coleman (Northern Rivers / Ballina)
13. Kyle Kennedy (Northern Rivers / Lismore Marists)
14. Ethan McKellar (Western / Orange)
15. Ron Leapai (Monaro / Woden Valley)
16. Zachary Masters (Riverina / Tumut)
17. Zac Greene (Illawarra South Coast / Western Suburbs)
18. Corey Grigg (Illawarra South Coast / Jamberoo)

Coach: Josh Cale

This article first appeared on crlnsw.com.au

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