HIGHER rep honours and a chance to take on their city counterparts will go on the line at the NSW Police Country Carnival at Kiama Showground this week.
Police officers from all over NSW will represent three country regions in a round robin format with the Country representative side selected after the completion of the three games.
The Country South team, which includes the Wollongong and Lake Ilawarra Commands, kicked things off against Central-Hunter on Tuesday and will back up against Country North on Wednesday.
North will take on Central-Hunter on Thursday before the team that will represent Country against on the City in Wollongong next month is announced.
That match will see a NSW side selected to take on their Queensland counterparts in an explosive clash, traditionally played as a curtain-raiser to one of the three State of Origin games.
Detective Senior Constable Carl Middleton from the Lake Illawarra Command has had a long involvement with the Southern side and said the regional rivalries, and the chance at higher honours, make for spirited contests.
“It’s friendly until kickoff but after that it’s pretty fiery,” Middleton said.
“The games are played with a fair bit of intensity and nothing’s left in the sheds as is the case in all rep games.
“It's a pretty big thing for the boys to represent Country which is what’s on offer.
“There’s a lot of boys here who represent club sides in their own regions and their group sides so there’s plenty of talent on display.”