The Wollongong Devils are eager to make an impression as they send five teams to the NSW Touch Country Championships in Mudgee this weekend.
The event - played over two days - will host more than 50 teams from across country NSW, with the Wollongong Touch Association to be strongly represented in both the open's and senior divisions.
Two Devils mixed teams will play in the mixed open category. Last year's State Cup champions and Country Championship runner-up, the mixed one team, will again be leading the way with Terry Deegan and Matt Tope up front, as well as former Australia women's open captain Jess McCall back in the fold.
"The team is a little different to the one we had last year. A few injuries and players unavailable has caused a reshuffle, however it's a great opportunity for some of the new players to step up and play a strong level of touch," Deegan said.
"Jess's return after the birth of her first child is a real bonus and our other five female players are super strong, three of which are currently playing in the women's open Vawdon Cup team."
Wollongong's men's 30's side will be out to defend their Country Championships title, while the Devils will boast a strong men's 40's team and women's 30's team at this year's event.
The Country Championships come as three Wollongong sides prepare for the Vawdon Cup finals.
The Devils men's and women's Open team won't travel to Mudgee after finishing top of the table in the division one Vawdon Cup competition. They'll instead prepare for a preliminary final on October 27.
The mixed two team will use the trip to Mudgee to prepare for an elimination semi-final against Uni NSW on Friday, October 20.
Meanwhile in the Wollongong Touch Premier League, Thirroul still hold top spot with two rounds to play, despite a having 5-5 thriller with Jamberoo in round five. The Stingrays of Shellharbour, Wests Illawarra and Dapto Canaries also scored vital wins.
In the women's league, Dapto proved far too strong for Jamberoo. Woonona had a win, while Corrimal and Gerringong played out a 5-5 draw.
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