THE NSW CIS side landed in Tamworth on Thursday night for the Under 15 Australian Secondary Rugby League Championships that will continue a huge weekend of football action in Tamworth.
The tournament is being co-hosted by NSWCIS and NSWCHS, with the majority of games being played at Scully Park.
Ten sides made up of Australia’s best footballers and future NRL stars will go toe to toe, starting tomorrow and finishing with the final on Friday.
As captain of the co-host side, Tyrone Taukamo (NSW CIS) and the NSW CHS captain will fly in via Westpac Rescue chopper for the opening ceremony at 1.30pm tomorrow.
It is Taukamo’s second year at the carnival and, after making the merit squad last year, has high hopes for his side this time around.
Wednesday’s NSW Origin win could add some extra motivation for both sides as the 106kg centre leads CIS out against Queensland White after the ceremony.
“I think this year’s team is a lot better,” Taukamo said.
“We are mentally tougher and know how to hold ourselves.”
That mental toughness comes from head coach Jason Lussick.
Lussick is a former NRL player and father of Eels forward Darcy and is now the strength and conditioning coach at St Augustine College in Sydney.
The squad is using the facilities at Carinya and was hard at training yesterday morning.
The players had two sessions yesterday and will have one more today before the carnival kicks off.
Following the CIS and Queensland White game will be one of the clashes of the tournament.
At 3pm tomorrow, NSW CHS will take on Queensland Maroon at Scully Park.
The game will be a replay of last year’s grand final and a clash of the two most successful sides in the tournament’s history.
While CHS has won more titles, Queensland got the better of them last year, taking the championships 26-12 in Canberra.
The week will see 20 games from 10.30am tomorrow until the final at 1.15pm on Friday.