The Northern NSW Bears are set for one final growl at Coffs Harbour this weekend.
From next year the Bears will be joining forces with Newcastle, Maitland, Nelson’s Bay and Lake Macquarie for the Australian Senior Oztag Championships, advised senior oztag development officer Pam Potts.
“That’s something exciting for 2019,” Potts said.
“We’re hoping it will give us more opportunity to field teams in a majority of divisions.”
Having a wider pool of talent should also strengthen their sides. Tamworth players have predominantly made up the Bears sides, which have considering punched well above their weight.
For their last nationals campaign they are sending over five teams – 20s mens and womens, senior mixed, 35s masters women and 30s men.
”Everyone’s really positive about how we’re going to go,” Potts said.
“Across the board everyone has been training well.”
“Having the World Cup prior to Nationals has definitely given us more time to put into these five teams.”
“A couple of teams have been training for up to 12 weeks, others maybe eight weeks. Normally we look at six weeks.”
Several of Tamworth’s World Cup stars will feature among the Bears sides, returning to the scene of Australia’s domination.
“Hopefully we’ll be really competitive,” Potts said.
She believes all five sides have an equal chance of making the quarter finals, which will be the goal.
“First goal is quarters, anything after that is a bonus for us,” she said.
The first sides will hit the field at 10.30am on Friday.