In the lead up to the 2014 VB NSW Cup season, we will shine the spotlight on all 13 competing teams to see how they are shaping up for the year ahead.
Today we take a look at the North Sydney Bears.
Head Coach: Wayne Lambkin
Home Ground: North Sydney Oval
Year Entered Competition: 1908
2013 Result: 3rd - (17 wins and 7 losses)
2014 Key Signings (Rabbitohs/Bears): Nathaniel Neale (Ipswich Jets), Joel Reddy (Wests Tigers), Joe Picker (Canberra Raiders), Lote Tuqiri (Rugby Union), Michael Bani (Mounties) & Jordan Worboys (Canberra Raiders).
The North Sydney Bears will begin season 2014 with a fresh look after the departure of several long serving players over the off-season.
With players such as Darren Nicholls, Bennett Leslie, Greg Nichols and Josh Starling leaving the club, the door has been opened for several young players to make their mark in the famous red and black colours and North Sydney Operations Manager, Brent Pigram, believes the club is looking strong heading into the new season.
“We’ve had a really solid pre-season,” said Pigram.
“We’ve started with a fresh squad this year and we have a lot of new faces who have been training the house down and making a good impression.
“It’s been nice to see their hard work rewarded with a couple of trial wins early on.”
With traditionally one of the strongest rosters in the VB NSW Cup, Pigram highlighted several of the Bears new signings as players to watch.
“Jordan Worboys has come from the Raiders NYC as a potential in the halves for us and been training really well.
“Blake South from the Windsor Wolves has also been really impressive and Brayden Wiliame (Parramatta) and Michael Bani (Mounties) have also joined the club and both have NRL experience which is a real positive for us.
“These guys have come into the squad and been really strong players and will hopefully form a good core throughout the season.”
With their first four matches away from home in 2014, the Bears will be looking to continue their strong pre-season form where they recorded victories over the Canterbury Bulldogs and Wyong Roos.
The Bears will face Wyong once again in Round One of the VB NSW Cup on Saturday, March 8th at Morry Breen Oval. Kick off at 5pm.