GROUP 19 is flush with electric fullbacks this season although former Wee Waa-now Boomerangs custodian Dillon Walford has been named as a cut above the rest.
After Gwydir’s Mitch Porter left the region, the Group 19 number one jersey was left vacant and the nephew of former St George player Ricky Walford has scooped it up.
In only one game, Walford did enough to impress selectors Ivan Coleman, Peter Stevens and coach Chris Binge.
In that game against Inverell the young flyer cut the Hawks defence to pieces as the Rangs racked up 60 points.
Binge is also his club coach and couldn’t go past his combination with halves Jamie Sampson and Rick Roberts in the rep side.
“He has a heap of belief and talent,” Binge said.
“There are going to be bigger things in the game for him.”
Walford went through school playing the other code at the rugby nursery of St Joseph’s College in Hunters Hill.
After returning to Walgett he ended up playing for the Panthers in Group 4, before a move to Moree and Group 19.
“He had a run with the Boars but decided he fitted in better with the Boomerangs after a few sessions,” Binge said.
There was a lot of competition for that spot in the group with a purple patch of outside backs coming through the clubs.
Uralla number one Alistair Faulkner is also at the top of his game after scoring three tries in their win against Moree last weekend.
Faulkner’s form couldn’t be ignored and he will line up in the centres for Group 19.
Faulkner also faces competition at the Tigers, with Jordan Press graduating from juniors and making waves in the opens.
Press and Faulkner have been sharing the role at the Tigers, with their versatility adding to an already quick and dangerous backline.
Moree Boars fullback Joe Henderson is also in top form but has been relegated to the wing in the group side by Walford.
Quick and dangerous back threes have become a feature of Group 19 footy in recent years.
Binge said that the group was lucky to have so much talent out wide and would be dangerous in attack and defence.
“Dillon (Walford) is all class and has everything that a coach could want,” Binge said.
“Speed, strength, timing, kicking, swerve, step and his speed off the mark is ridiculous.
“He reads the game so well from the back.”
The Rangs can’t wait to get back on the paddock and will host the Rams this Saturday.
This weekend will also see Goondi have their first away game when the two Boars meet in Moree.
Inverell will host Tingha who will be hungry for a win after Goondi came from behind to beat them last week, and Uralla will travel to Glen Innes searching for its second win after upsetting Moree.