Schoupp confident Rams can cope without Country stars

Grand final hero Gavin Holder will be one of four NSW Country representatives missing from Camden's ranks for Saturday's clash with Avondale.

Grand final hero Gavin Holder will be one of four NSW Country representatives missing from Camden's ranks for Saturday's clash with Avondale.

ILLAWARRA RUGBY

Camden coach Brendan Schoupp is unfazed by the absence of four key players for Saturday's grand final rematch with Avondale at Camden Rugby Park.

The Rams won their first title in 18 years with last season's 20-10 grand-final win over Avondale.

Camden are currently second with a 4-2 record, while the Wombats sit on top of the table with five wins from five games.

Despite the absence of NSW Country reps Gavin Holder, Lee Russell, Ben Greentree and Mark Minter, the Rams are relishing the clash with the leaders.

"We haven't had our Country boys for three or four weeks and we've built a bit of depth with the guys that have come in," Schoupp said.

"It's been a good process to go through because the group we have at the moment have been putting a lot of hard yards in at training. They got rewarded in the last couple of weeks with some good victories so this game will certainly be a test for them.

"If we can string some wins together then have our Country players come back, it'll hold us in good stead down the track."

Camden broke a two-game losing skid with a last-second road win over Vikings a fortnight ago and backed up with last week's 54-12 thumping of Shoalhaven.

"The comp is still going through a sorting out period, but Avondale are on a roll," Schoupp said.

"They're definitely one of the teams to beat this year. They're always really consistent during the regular season.

"Last year Avondale and Camden set a very high standard of football to be played. I'm sure both teams are keen to play that high quality football this weekend.

"All the stuff that happened off the field in last year's grand final, that's finished and forgotten about."

Meanwhile, Vikings are looking forward to hosting long-time rivals Shamrocks.

Both teams lost last weekend.

"Neither side really needs any more incentive heading into the game, but after going down last week, we're both out to get back in the winner's circle," Vikings five-eighth Nick Matts said.

"It's also our Longhorns Day, where the club celebrates its past players, and we're raising funds for the Cancer Council's Call to Arms event. Some of our Longhorns have been directly affected by prostate cancer, so the day means a lot to the club."

Vikings will be decked out in special striped jerseys bearing the Cancer Council logos.

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