Old Rams put out to pasture
The Under 18s squad was selected on the weekend following trial matches between Group 10, Group 11, Castlereagh Cup and a President’s side at Wellington.
It was the President’s side which impressed selectors on its way to downing Group 10 18-12 and Group 11 36-18.
As a result, eight players from the President’s team were selected in the Rams, including Orange CYMS’ Jarrod Robbins.
Rams coach Steve Sutton said there were no returning players from last year’s Country Championship-winning squad.
“None of the players we’ve selected were in the Rams last year so it will be interesting,” Sutton said.
“We didn’t realise it at the time, but all the players we picked last year were 18 so none were coming back.”
Sutton is still confident he has a competitive side after seeing many of the boys in action in academy training and trials.
The coach said Robbins was one of the President’s players who stood out during the trial matches.
“Jarrod was probably a bit unlucky to miss out on the Group side,” Sutton said.
“He really jumped out of the ground during the games on the weekend. I wasn’t sure if he was up to it but he showed he was. His work rate for an outside back was fantastic.”
Robbins’ older brother Cody was part of last year’s side which claimed the NSW Country Championship and was then selected in the NSW Country squad.
The Rams will play a trial against the Southern Redbacks at Picton’s Victoria Park on Saturday.
The following weekend the Rams will go into a camp at Lake Burrendong to finalise their preparations.
The 2012 AAMI Country Rugby League Regional Championships will be held at Taree on April 14 and 15 and Sutton has every intention of defending the title they won last year.
“You’ve always got to go in with the idea of winning it,” Sutton said.
“If we win our two games at (Taree) then we’re in the semi-finals at Mudgee and anything can happen in the semi-finals.”
WESTERN RAMS 18s: 1 Jack Creith (Parkes), 2 Sam Dwyer (Parkes), 3 Jarrod Robbins (Orange CYMS), 4 Brent Naden (Wellington), 5 Aiden Craig (Cowra), 6 Chad Porter (Parkes), 7 Wade Potter (Cobar), 8 Jake Goodwin (Forbes), 9 Alex Bonham (Dubbo CYMS), 10 Seamus Leyland (Cowra), 11 Lewis Stanley (Wellington), 12 Lincoln Kavanagh (Dubbo CYMS), 13 Mick Ingwersen (Bathurst Panthers), 14 Casey Burgess (Mudgee), 15 Martin Herbert (Forbes), 16 Caleb Whitehurst (Cobar), 17 Swade Dunn (Dubbo Macquarie), 18 Dylan Brand (Coonabarabran). Coach: Steve Sutton.