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NSW Country Rugby League have announced their Country under 23s representative team, featuring Shellharbour Sharks’ Jack Kavanagh, to tour Papua New Guinea in October.
The squad was announced at Camden’s Kirkham Park after the completion of the CRL men’s under 23s Country Championship final between the Monaro Colts and Northern Rivers – which the latter won 26-20.
Country under 23s coach Josh Cale believes his side possesses some of the most exciting young talent from across regional NSW.
“It’s been a great under 23s Country Championships and I’m really excited by the talent that we’ve got at our disposal for the tour to Papua New Guinea,” Cale said.
“Travelling to a country, where rugby league is the national sport, will be an amazing experience and we know we’re going to face some tough opposition.
“It was great to see how the Country under 23s responded to the challenge of taking on Samoa and Scotland last season and it was amazing achievement to not only challenge those sides, but to claim a victory over the Scottish World Cup side in Ballina.
“The percentage of country players in the NRL is always growing and it’s a great pathway for these players.
“You never know – some of our players may be the same ones we see on the big stage in the future.”
Joining Kavanagh in the squad are Illawarra South Coast Dragons team mates Liam Cassidy (Collegians) and Zac Greene (Western Suburbs).
2018 men’s under 23s Country representative team: 1. Ryan McQueen, 2. Jack Lyons, 3. Zac Johnson, 4. Ryley Thomas, 5. Michael Dwane, 6. Sam Grant, 7. Sam Elwin, 8. Caleb Ziebel 9. Joe Besgrove, 10. Jack Kavanagh, 11. Liam Cassidy, 12. Cleveland McGhie, 13. Kyle Kennedy, 14. Ethan McKellar, 15. Ron Leapai, 16. Zachary Masters, 17. Zac Greene and 18. Nuk Ngere.