McCarthy quartet US-bound for fun and games

FOUR boys from McCarthy are States-bound on Monday for the rugby trip of a lifetime down the west coast of America.

Back-rowers Lachlan Etheridge and Ryan Witherdin will join outside backs Ryan Prentice and Brad Thrift as part of the Country Schools development squad.

The boys were selected for the tour from last year’s Central North team, and a trial on the June long weekend last year.

The boys fly out on Monday and head to San Francisco, before going to San Diego, Sacramento, and then their the final game in Dixon.

They play two high school sides and two regional teams, the first being Golden Gate Rugby Club in the shadows of the great bridge.

“We are doing lots of sightseeing and travelling around a bit  which is cool,” Witherdin said.

The squad is going to watch Minnesota play Seattle in the NBA the first night they are there.

They will also go to Alcatraz, Disneyland, the Golden Gate Bridge and plenty more along the way.

The squad doesn’t know much about the opposition sides.

They have heard that they play a different brand of rugby in the States.

“It is not as big over there,” Prentice said. “We heard they play with a lot of width and with less structure.”

“We really have no idea so it will be good to see how they play and how different it is to here.”

The final game will be against a school in Dixon.

“They came second in the whole USA apparently,” Thrift said.

“They should be quite strong.”

All four are Pirates U18s and the temptation to play in the local derby today against the Magpies is too much for one of them.

 Prentice will pull the boots on, although the other three are carrying niggling injuries and don’t want to risk the tour.

There will be no rest for them after the tour, with games for Pirates but also more trials.

They have all been picked in this year’s Central North squad again, but will miss the inter-squad trial tomorrow.

All four will be trialling for the NSW Country squad  but first of all they will show the Americans how Aussies play rugby.

In a nod to the region’s talent, three students from Calrossy will also be on the tour.

Sam Hunt, Elliot Jones and Angus McIntosh have also been selected in the Country Schools side.

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