Jono Dallas to start for Southern Region in Country champs final

Jono Dallas will be playing in Greater Southern colours this Saturday. Picture: DAVID HALL

Jono Dallas will be playing in Greater Southern colours this Saturday. Picture: DAVID HALL

RUGBY LEAGUE

Jamberoo playmaker Jono Dallas has been thrust into a starting role for the Greater Southern Region Suns in Saturday's NSW Country Championship Tier Two final against North Coast at Tamworth.

Normally a strike weapon off the bench for Greater Southern, Dallas was promoted to the starting line-up in place of Thirlmere's Eddie Paea, who broke ribs in last weekend's 38-36 defeat of Northern Rivers at Wyong.

Suns coach Peter Hooper is confident Dallas is relishing the opportunity.

"We lost Eddie after eight minutes last week and Jono went on for the rest of the game, so I'm sure he'll be quite comfortable in a starting role on Saturday," Hooper said.

"He was the Group Seven halfback in last year's Country final so he's done it before. He'd be looking forward to it."

Group Seven are the reigning Tier Two champions after they beat Group Two in last year's final.

This year's format has changed - Group Seven joining forces with groups six and 16 to form the Greater Southern regional side.

"Funnily enough, groups seven, six, two and three were the four Tier Two semi-finalists last year so both teams can expect to see some familiar faces on Saturday," Hooper said.

"We're aware they've got some talent but in these types of games you just worry about yourself - we're normally pretty successful when we go that way. Focus on a high completion rate, stay disciplined, execute properly."

Hooper said his team had blended well.

"It's a good mix. We've got a wealth of experience and a bit of youth as well," he said.

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