Northerners on board Country tour to Queensland

GREATER Northern will be represented by 14 players and one coach when three Country sides tour Queensland next week.

After winning the AAMI Under 16 and 18 Country Championship finals, Greater Northern had six players selected in each side.

Scone pair Daniel Ritter and Tim Smith were also named in a Country Bulls (2nds) side to play the Queensland Rangers at Rockhampton’s Browne Park next Saturday (July 12).

In keeping with that Scone link, the NSW Country Under 18s will be coached by Scone’s Aaron Watts.

The former representative halfback was the assistant NSW Country Under 18 coach last year as well as assisting Mick Schmiedel with the Group 4 senior side this season.

“It’s a pretty big honour,”  Watts said at the recent Country Championship Finals day at Scully Park in Tamworth.

“I didn’t think I was much of a chance.

“I helped out Jamie Feeney with the 18s last year but then he got bumped up to the seniors and that gave me the opportunity.”

Country Rugby League chief operating officer Terry Quinn said the two junior sides play Australian Samoa in Brisbane this Monday night as a lead-in to the Queensland games in Rockhampton.

“I don’t know what we’re going to run into there,”  Quinn said of the Australian Samoan strength.

“But it will be a good for our two sides. 

“The kids then head up Tuesday and we all meet up with the Country Seconds on the Wednesday.”

Watts believes the greater Northern presence in the NSW Country junior sides is deserving.

Greater Northern fullback Callum Hayne takes on the Central Coast defence during the Country Championship Final win. The Gunnedah teenager represents Country Under 18s in Brisbane and Rockhampton next week.  Photo: Barry Smith 210614BSB02

Greater Northern fullback Callum Hayne takes on the Central Coast defence during the Country Championship Final win. The Gunnedah teenager represents Country Under 18s in Brisbane and Rockhampton next week. Photo: Barry Smith 210614BSB02

“We’ve got a good squad together,”  Watts said.

“The Greater Northern kids deserve to be there too – they are all talented.

“Young Jordan Press is quick. 

“He can play any where too – fullback, halfback or centre (where has been selected).

“Callum Hayne and Mitch Doring scored some great tries here too. 

“Mitch and Callum were always dangerous when they had the ball.

“It’s also good to see Daniel (Ritter) picked for Country again and Tim (Smith) on the bench. 

“It’s great for Scone.”

 Feeney, who started as a Muswellbrook junior before joing Canterbury, will take the Country Firsts to Hawaii where they will play the Hawaiian Chiefs at Aloha Stadium on Saturday, July 19.

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