Rugby rep trial to test players' mettle

RUGBY UNION

The Illawarra under-20 representative rugby side will find out how their rigorous preseason preparation is progressing when they take on Parramatta in this afternoon's trial at Camden.

Coach Michael Solomons is expected to run his entire squad and is also looking forward to next week's trial against Penrith.

A final preseason hit-out against Campbelltown is scheduled for March 22.

"The effort and commitment has been exceptional," Solomons said.

"This match provides a great opportunity for the players to press for selection."

Former Engadine and Shamrocks coach Dion Miller has taken on the role of Illawarra Rugby rep co-ordinator for 2014 and believes the under-20 side "has the goods".

"We've had a really good showing of players throughout the pre-season and it's great to see plenty of kids keen to play for Illawarra," Miller said. "Having all these players to choose from can only help our chances at the Country Championships.

"The talent and depth in the squad is excellent."

Illawarra Rugby reintroduced an under-20 Colts competition last season, a popular move that allowed the region's emerging talent to shine in their age group.

"In the past we haven't had a Colts competition and it makes it very difficult to identify players because they're normally playing in grade," Miller said.

"The response from the players has been fantastic and there's a real emphasis on getting to training and earning your spot."

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