The Illawarra Rugby Union board has praised Illawarra’s junior representative players after the conclusion of a successful month of NSW Country Championships.
The period saw Illawarra claim four of the eight junior country titles on offer, along with an equal second. Additionally, 24 boys and girls were selected in NSW Country squads.
Illawarra board member Wayne Cusack said the achievements were the result of hours of hard work by coaches, parents and players.
“We’re very happy, out of eight Country Championships, we won four, and came equal second in another one,” Cusack said. “The board’s ecstatic, kids are happy and parents should be proud of the efforts the boys and girls put in.
“From here, some teams are off to a trial against the ACT in Goulburn and then onwards and upwards to the State Championships over the June long weekend.”
The junior Country Championships wrapped up in Bathurst on the weekend, with the under 15s finishing in sixth, with one win from four matches, and the under 16s finishing in fifth, with two wins from four matches.
“The 15s did well,” Cusack said. “There was a late withdrawal and a concussion in the first game, which put them behind the eight-ball. They were a bit skinny in a few positions, but they all tried hard. The five kids who made the Country squad were all deserving.”
The weekend saw a further seven players selected in NSW Country squads, with Anthony Moata'ane, Tom Cusack, Jack Neich, Jake Hickey and Jayden Legaspi selected in the under 15s and Blake Gurney and Blake Wellington selected in the under 16s.
The players join under 14s Josh Low, Micah Gibson, Matthew Parkes, Jayden Villamu, Harrison Valevatu, Jackson Ropata and Metui-sela Fuka and under 17 girls Maddison Weatherall, Camelia Lotoaatu, Keeley Kopara, Koniseti Tinao, Grace Sullivan and Viena Tinao in NSW Junior Country squads. Sailina Heritage, Lili O'Dea, Angie Tau and Checoby Murray were selected in an under 15 girls junior development squad.