The Intrust Super Premiership NSW Residents match against Queensland is only one sleep away, and the Blues are more than ready after a highly successful camp in Brisbane.
The players gathered and met for the first time at Concord Oval on Monday, and it did not take long for the boys to immediately gel with each other, enjoying each other’s company throughout the week.
Mitch Williams will captain the side at Langlands Park for the third time tomorrow, and he is only a quarter of an incredibly skilful spine. Justin Hunt is an established star at fullback, while Shaun Nona and Josh Drinkwater have been dominating second-tier football for many seasons.
In what is a twist of irony, Nona represented the Queensland Residents side last year, and kicked the Blues side out of the game in what was a dominant performance by the young five-eighth.
Zach Dockar-Clay made the transition from Under-20s to Intrust Super Premiership look simple, and he will bring an enormous amount to the side off the interchange bench.
The starting props for the Blues side are Daniel Alvaro and Abraham Papalii, two of the biggest humans in the competition. They’re runs through the middle off the back of strong kick returns from Ken Maumalo will be nothing short of invaluable.
Established first grader, Elijah Taylor, will don the number 13, and his experience will not only bring a lot to the team on the field, his presence has been noticed by his teammates throughout the whole week.
There is a solid mix of players within the New South Wales squad, who will play for each other at Langlands Park tomorrow, and also play for the jersey on their back.
Rip Taylor has taken charge of the side and Matt Lantry his assistant coach, the two coaches who went head-to-head in the 2015 Intrust Super Premiership NSW Grand Final.
The match promises to be an exciting one, as was last year’s 36-32 high-scoring showdown that went the way of Queensland.
The players have enjoyed each other’s company in camp, and are focused on the common goal of bringing the shield back to New South Wales.