MOREE Boomerangs players have dominated selections for the Group 19 side that will meet Groups 4 and 21 in the Greater Northern Championships at Scully Park on May 17.
Coach Chris Binge said the side had been picked based on combinations and form this season.
Despite only playing one game so far this year, nine Rangs have been named in the squad of 21, seven of them run-on.
Uralla fullback Alistair Faulkner and Boars winger Joe Henderson will be the only non-Boomies in the backline.
Rick Roberts and Jamie Sampson will lead the team around the field in the halves.
Last season’s Player of the Year, Guy Mepham, has been named at hooker despite reports of a very badly injured knee.
The Tingha captain-coach dislocated his knee and tore the tendon that holds the kneecap in place in their loss to Goondiwindi on Saturday, according to Tingha vice-president and Group 19 selector Ivan Coleman.
“I have some replacements in mind if those reports are true,” Binge said.
With two new sides entering the Group 19 fold, the selectors, Coleman, Binge and Peter Stevens, had even more players to choose from.
The two new Boars sides, Moree and Gundy, are well represented in the side.
Former Group 4 and Greater Northern rep Ben Williams will join Moree captain Matt Marshall and electric winger Joe Henderson in the side.
Goondiwindi prop Callum Skinner has been causing problems for opposition packs this season, although it is his teammate Donny David who has the coach excited.
“He comes with huge wraps on him and has played for the Queensland Clydesdales,” Binge said.
The coach said this year would be different to last year because they would have a more solid bench and rounded side.
Defence is going to be the focus.
“We need to be really strong in the middle defensively so they have to try out wide,” Binge said.
“We are very solid out there so if they want to score they will have to do it the hard way.”
Like the Boomerangs, under Binge the team will play with structure and purpose.
“We want to control the game and make sure we are playing where we want to play,” Binge said.
“The idea is to play as a team and win both games comfortably so we can get as many players as possible to the next level.”
The side will have two training sessions before the championships on Wednesday nights in Moree.
Group 19 - 1 Dillon Walford (Boomerangs), 2 Lloyd Munro Jnr (Boomerangs), 3 James Smith (Boomerangs), 4 Alistair Faulkner (Uralla), 5 Joe Henderson, 6 Rick Roberts (Boomerangs), 7 Jamie Sampson (Boomerangs), 8 Warren Cain (Boomerangs), 9 Guy Mepham (Tingha), 10 Callum Skinner (Goondi), 11 Mundarrah Weldon (Boomerangs), 12 Nick Dawson (Tingha), 13 Matt Marshall (Moree), 14 Kuki Mate (Armidale), 15 James Smith (Armidale), 16 Donny David (Goondi), 17 Jock Waters (Glen Innes), 18 Ben Williams (Moree), 19 Brian Saunders (Boomerangs), 20 Sam Armstrong (Boomerangs), 21 Brendan Crichlow (Inverell).