THREE Orange City juniors and one Orange Emu will line up for NSW Country when the Junior Cockatoos take on Sydney in Tamworth on Sunday.
Mitch Winslade and Lachie Stewart will play for NSW Country’s under 16 team while Lachie Duncan and Hunter Ward will represent the under 15s.
Winslade and Stewart play together for the Orange City under 16s, one of two Lions teams competing in the Central West under 17s competition, and both represented Central West in May’s NSW Country Championships.
Despite missing out on Junior Cockatoos selection originally after Central West finished in a lacklustre fifth, the pair was called into the squad this week.
“It’s pretty exciting, going back to my old stomping ground in Tamworth as well,” Winslade, a utility forward, said.
“I was born there, so hopefully having a few friendly faces in the crowd will help with the nerves.”
“I played Country 15s last year, so hopefully that helps me out a little bit,” Stewart, who expects to play either halfback or five-eighth, said.
“Both Mitch and I played with a few of the Sydney boys in the NSW CCC (Combined Catholic Colleges) team, so we know a bit about them. They’ll be big, and well drilled that’s for sure.”
Duncan also missed selection for the under 15 Junior Cockatoos after helping his Central West side to third place at the Country Championships.
The second rower, an Emus’ junior, was called into the squad this week and will join five other Central West players including fellow Orange native Hunter Ward, who was selected after being named best forward at the Country Championships.
“It’ll be good having a few friendly faces there,” Duncan said, just after leaving the field during Thursday’s Coast to Country Cup at Waratahs Sportsground.
“That doesn’t really do much for the nerves though, I guess I just want to play well and get a win.”