The Western Rams are fresh-off their best Under 23s Country Championship campaign in four years and now aim to add NRL experience to their roster for the upcoming Presidents Cup competition, a tournament set to encompass a host of rugby league sides from throughout the state.
The men in green will bring in Harry Siejka's top-grade experience and are hoping to have Daniel Mortimer on board as well as invitations are open to all prospective players to attend the side's opening training session on Saturday at Brendon Sturgeon Oval.
The competition is comprised of teams from both the city and the country as Dubbo CYMS and the Rams will make up the Central West contingent, while the likes of the North Sydney Bears, Wentworthville Magpies, Glebe Burwood Bears, the Hills Bulls, and Maitland Pickers will also compete.
Head coach Cameron Greenhalgh didn't know anything about the tournament seven days ago but is now gearing up for an unprecedented opportunity.
"Peter Clarke rang me and floated the idea of putting a Western Rams side in the Presidents Cup," Greenhalgh said.
"I was happy to give it a crack and said we'll take it day-by-day."
The tournament was confirmed on Tuesday afternoon and since then, Greenhalgh's been on the phone trying to determine which of the Western stars are available.
The Rams' under 23s side if fresh off its Country Championships campaign but the likes of Daniel Mortimer and Willie Heta will also be eligible to play in the open-age outfit. "Some players are having the year off but 80 per cent of the 23s side is keen," he said.
"A few of the older fellas are keen as well... we'll train this weekend and start with the core and take on anyone else who wants to put their hand up. "All of the senior guys who played France have all been contacted."
Greenhalgh confirmed that both Ethan McKellar and Nathan Potts are on deck for the upcoming tournament, as well as Mudgee Dragons' off-season signing Harry Siejka. "He [Siejka] seems really keen... the invitation obviously been extended to Daniel Mortimer.
Saturday will mark the side's first team training sessions as Greenhalgh will use the runaround to gauge the fitness level of his sides, as well who'll play in key positions for the men in green.
"They might be a little bit rusty to start with," he said.
"We'll hopefully get two sessions in and try to get one in mid-week before the first Sydney trip."
Not only is the Presidents Cup a good opportunity for the men in the Central West to get back onto the park, Greenhalgh's dubbing it as another opportunity for the bush to put itself on the city's radar.
"Sometimes a lot of regional players get overlooked," he said.
"This is a chance for us to get looked at again. There's a lot of talent in these areas and that can be underestimated.
Returning to the footy field is good, getting recognition is a plus as well, but the goal for Greenhalgh is simple - win.
'We're not there to give the other fellas some time on the field... we're going out to make a statement.'
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