THE North West will be well represented at this year's Oceania Oztag Championships in New Zealand.
Players from a variety of age groups will represent their country and their cultures at the annual tournament, which begins on Friday.
Teams from around Australia and from countries such as Italy, Hong Kong and Spain will take part in the three-day tournament.
Paul Noldt will represent the region in the coaching ranks, leading the Australian over-50 team.
"I lead the Australian side at last year's World Cup and have been lucky enough to keep 12 members of that squad for this year's Oceania Championships," Noldt told the Leader.
"We have players from all over the country in the side and based on making the final in last year's World Cup, I'm confident we can make the gold medal game.
"I think we have a pretty tough draw, given we have to play teams like the New Zealand Barbarians, but with the amount of talent we have in the team, I'm confident we can still go pretty deep in the tournament."
Despite retaining the majority of last year's World Cup team, Noldt said he would be without former Manly five eighth Cliff Lyons.
"Cliff will be a big loss because he brought a lot of experience and skill to the team," he said.
"However, I still think we have got enough talent to give our competition a pretty good shake."
Joining Noldt in the over-50 side will be North West locals Harry Cutmore, Chris Hunt and Darran Barton.
Meanwhile, Jermain Walford and Latrell Allan will represent the Australian Indigenous under-21 men's side, while Georgia Holcombe will line up in the women's under-21 side.
"It's really good to see those younger guys and girls get an opportunity to compete on a big stage like this," Noldt said.
"The teams are made up of players from across the country, so there are a lot of different Indigenous cultures represented in the team.
"I know competition for spots in these sides is really strong, so it's quite impressive for these guys to have made the team."
Noldt said he was "excited by the positive changes" Oztag was experiencing.
"The game is certainly growing and expanding," he said.
"We saw it last year with how many different nations were represented at the World Cup ans we are seeing it again now at the Oceania's.
"Given next year's World Cup is being held in the Northern Hemisphere for the first time, I'm sure we will continue to see it grow in the future as well."
An assistant coach of Kootingal-Moonbi's 2019 first-grade grand final side, Noldt said he was confident the Roosters would "be competitive again next year".
"In 2020 I will actually be taking the reins as the reserve grade coach," he said.
"About 70 per cent of our players are currently playing Oztag to keep their fitness and skills up, so I have no doubt they will be ready to go next season.
"It will be a challenge, but it's one I'm certainly looking forward to."
The tournament begins on Thursday night with an opening ceremony, followed by competition days on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.