THEY were grand final opponents a few weeks ago but Narrabri’s Cameron King and Ben Gunter and Tamworth’s James Hawkins will be uniting in NSW blue on the Sunshine Coast today.
The talented trio will play for NSW in the two-day National U15s Championship.
Narrabri’s Dean Wilson is also up in Queensland after being called into the U17s team.
Unbeknownst to him, he was the first shadow back when the side was originally named and learnt of his selection after the Central North preliminary finals.
It was some good news after the Blue Boars U18s and seconds had both lost their finals games and missed out on the grand final by a game.
Wilson was captain of the U18s and came off the bench in second grade.
The Blue Boars 16s did go on to make the decider – against Pirates – pitting Gunter and King against Hawkins.
They weren’t directly opposed, with Hawkins playing in the centres, Gunter the second row and King at number eight.
Pirates got up but there was little time to celebrate, the three having to head straight down to Sydney, with NSW tackling ACT on the Sunday.
The Blues were far too good for the Canberra side, thrashing them 56-nil.
All three Central North boys played a major part.
The U17s were equally as impressive, running out 64-17 winners.
The 15s will tackle Queensland 1 and 2 and Victoria up at Caloundra and have been down in Sydney training this week.
They had training Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
Before that, the boys had been travelling down to Sydney for training most weekends.
They have had to miss a couple of sessions though due to finals commitments.
The NSW side was selected from the annual Country v Sydney game in August and King said they had gelled well.
“The boys have bonded together pretty well,” he said.
“We’re not really city and country any more.”
After playing for the Country 14s last year, making the Cockatoos again was his main goal.
He hadn’t really thought too much about the next step.
“This (NSW) is a bonus,” he said.
The Narrabri High student said it was pretty exciting to represent the state and was looking forward to a good couple of days of hard rugby.
“It should be good – good quality football,” he said.