Four Orange City juniors named in NSW Country squads

USUAL SUSPECT: Beau Westcott, a veteran of the NSW Country system, is one of four Lions to earn a Junior Cockatoos spot so far in 2017. Photo: MATT FINDLAY
USUAL SUSPECT: Beau Westcott, a veteran of the NSW Country system, is one of four Lions to earn a Junior Cockatoos spot so far in 2017. Photo: MATT FINDLAY

NSW Country Junior Rugby Union’s sides, the handful named so far anyway, will have a distinctly Central West flavour.

Central West’s under-15, under-16 and under-18 sides all performed strongly at their respective country championships and earned plenty of Junior Cockatoos jerseys as a result.

Twenty-one, between the three age groups, to be precise.

Central West’s under 17s acquitted themselves well too, however that age group’s NSW Country side is yet to be released.

Of those 21, four Orange City guns made the cut.

Beau Westcott and Nick Wald were both among the eight Central West stars to be named in the 25-man under-16 Country squad, while Tom Francis and Andrew Romano made the 45-strong under-15 train-on group.

There’s nine from Central West in that squad.

It’s not difficult to see why the region has such large representation in those two age groups – combined, the two sides only lost one game.

Central West’s under 16s finished undefeated champions while the under 15s finished third, only dropping one game to eventual champions Hunter. They lost that game on the bell too.

Dubbo’s Jason Blake coached the under-15 side after starting with the team in the 14s last season, he’s delighted by the progress.

“It’s very pleasing and a lot of people said we were the better side in the game we lost,” he said.

“It was five-all with Hunter and we would have gone through because we scored first but a mistake in the final two minutes cost us.

“But Hunter has won it for the last few years and they got 17 into the train-on squad. We got nine in and that’s a great result for Central West.”

On the under 16s, Blake couldn’t have been more impressed.

“The team played consistently all week and had nine named in the train-on squad,” Blake said.

“They won the Country Championships last year but lost a number of players so had to regroup but they’re very talented young men.

“They played extremely well and played some exciting rugby union.”

After helping their under-18 side to fourth, Bathurst’s Felix Quinn, Jason Corliss and Michael Latu, along with Mudgee’s Billy Carberry and Dubbo’s Kyle Gibson were all named in the Country squad.

LION CUBS ROARING: Andrew Romano, Beau Westcott and Nick Wald have all made NSW Country squads this year. Photo: MATT FINDLAY

LION CUBS ROARING: Andrew Romano, Beau Westcott and Nick Wald have all made NSW Country squads this year. Photo: MATT FINDLAY

Central West’s under 17s side went winless through its campaign, Orange Emus gun Riley White was crowned the side’s best forward.

The under-12, under-13 and under-14 country championships will be held soon.