NSW Country Rugby Union

Fresh faces bring in a new era for Cockatoos

Fresh faces bring in a new era for Cockatoos

The NSW Country Cockatoos team has been announced to take on the Sydney Suburban representative team at Camden Rugby Club on Sunday, June 4.

The team will boast a mix of youth and experience as the Cockatoos launch their 2017 campaign.
This will be the 7th year the Maher/Ross Cup has been contested between the two Unions with each winning the Cup three times. The Cockatoos are the current title holders.

The team was trimmed down to a match squad of 23 players, following a recent camp held in Singleton.

The players were selected following the NSW Country Championships with the coaches delighted with the standard and quality of play at the tournament.

Mat Thomas, Head Coach for the NSW Country Cockatoos says he has selected a lot of new faces this year.

“The coaches feel we’ve found a great balance with new additions with some experienced Cockatoos players returning, like Ben “Mr Cool” Damon at fullback and Illawarra backrower Paul Tuala,” Thomas said.

“We will also look to have a massive impact off the bench from AJ Gilbert, who brings an unbelievable ability to read the game and seemingly appear everywhere around the field.

“It is evident that there is a new energy in the squad with a lots of new faces and we’ll look to transfer that energy into our style of play against Subbies.

“The team boasts a very strong tight five, which have great set piece ability, a dynamic back row and some genuine pace in the backs, so we will utilise these strengths and look to play accordingly.

“The Newcastle/ Hunter 8, 9 and 10 combination of Travis Brooke, Jono O’Toole and Dan Sherratt will provide a lot of direction and stability considering we have had only one training session.

“The opportunity for the boys to play in a genuine City vs NSW Country fixture is really exciting for the players and I know they truly relish.”

The coaching group says it’s exciting to see what the players will deliver against Subbies.

The NSW Country Cockatoo Colts (U19’s) team will be playing before the Cockatoos battle with Subbies.
The NSW Country Cockatoo Colts will be taking part in the Gen Blue selection trial which will look to unearth U19 players to be part of the Gen Blue (Waratahs U20’s program) in 2018.

11:30am: NSW Country Cockatoo Colts vs Sydney East (Gen Blue selection)
12:15pm: Sydney West vs Sydney East (Gen Blue selection)
1:00pm: NSW Country Cockatoo Colts vs Sydney West
1:30pm: NSW Country Cockatoos vs Subbies
3:30pm: Presentation of the Maher/Ross Cup

A great day out for Rugby fans in the Camden district to get along and support your team!
Thank you to our wonderful hosts Camden Rugby club!


No. / Position Player Zone Club
1. L / H Prop Charlie FRENCH Central West Forbes
2. Hooker Bleddyn GANT Mid North Coast Port Macquarie
3. T / H Prop Jesse ROCHE Illawarra Woonona Shamrocks
4. L / Lock Andy RAE Illawarra Wollongong University
5. R / Lock Nathan BRENNAN Newcastle Hunter Singleton
6. B / Flank Leighton COWLEY Illawarra Kiama
7. O / Flank Paul TUALA Illawarra Wollongong University
8. No 8 Travis BROOKE Newcastle Hunter Maitland
9. Scrumhalf Jono O’TOOLE Newcastle Hunter Maitland
10. Fly half Dane SHERRATT Newcastle Hunter Waratahs
11. L / Wing Sireli BAINIVALU Newcastle Hunter Hamilton
12. I / Centre Grant KNIGHT Far North Coast Balina
13. O / Centre Pat KEEN Central North Walcha
14. R / Wing Henry YUILL Illawarra Bowral
15. Fullback Adrian DELORE Newcastle Hunter Southern Beaches
16. Hooker Ethan MCINNES Central Coast Terrigal
17. Prop Andy PAPWORTH Illawarra Wollongong University
18. Prop Kevin MCNAMARA Central Coast Warnervale
19. Lock Dan RYAN Central West Parkes
20. B/Row Ben EGAN Western Plains Warren
21. Scrum Half Tom SAWDEN Illawarra Wollongong Vikings
22. Utility Back Jack ARTHUR New England Armidale
23. Utility Back Andrew WEST Mid North Coast Hastings Valley

Coach: Mat Thomas
Assistant Coaches: Paul Jeffrey & Shaun McCready
Manager: Matt Waterford
Assistant Manager: Scott McKellar
Doctor: David Cannon
Physio: Ben Mahon