A host of NRL talent has been selected to represent the VB Country Origin team to play the final Country v City clash ever on Sunday, 7 May.
The likes of Cody Walker, Damien Cook, Anthony Don and Connor Watson make their representative debuts, while Tariq Sims becomes the most-capped current Country player with six appearances. Mitchell Aubusson, a Ballina Seagulls junior, will captain the side in his second consecutive VB Country Origin selection, following some strong form for the Roosters.
Two notable selections have come through the NSWRL Pathways system in recent times; Brian Kelly was a part of the victorious NSW Under-20 team which defeated Queensland for the fifth-straight time in 2016, while 18th man Daniel Alvaro played for the Intrust Super Premiership NSW Residents as they emerged victorious in the same season. Dragons duo Paul Vaughan and Jack de Belin have been named as they aim to press for Origin debuts.
UPDATE: Euan Aitken, originally named at centre, has been withdrawn due to injury. No extra players will be brought into the squad at this time.
With the KARI City Origin side to be announced after midday, the VB Country Origin side is as follows:
1. Michael Gordon – Tweed Coast / Sydney Roosters
2. Anthony Don – Grafton Ghosts / Gold Coast Titans
4. Cheyse Blair – Bilambil Jets / Melbourne Storm
5. Brian Kelly – Ballina Seagulls / Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
6. Cody Walker – Casino Cougars / South Sydney Rabbitohs
7. Tyrone Roberts – Ballina Seagulls / West Newcastle / Gold Coast Titans
8. Dale Finucane – Bega Roosters / Melbourne Storm
9. Damien Cook – Helensburgh Tigers / South Sydney Rabbitohs
10. Paul Vaughan – Gungahlin Bulls / St George Illawarra Dragons
11. Mitch Aubusson © – Ballina Seagulls / Sydney Roosters
12. Kyle Turner – Coonabarabran Unicorns / South Sydney Rabbitohs
13. Jack De Belin – Cootamundra Bulldogs / St George Illawarra Dragons
14. Connor Watson – Kincumber Colts / Sydney Roosters
15. Matt Prior – Thirroul Butchers / Cronulla Sharks
16. Tariq Sims – Gerringong Lions / St George Illawarra Dragons
17. Adam Elliott – Tathra Sea Eagles / Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs
18. Daniel Alvaro – Mittagong Lions / Parramatta Eels
Coach: Craig Fitzgibbon – Dapto Canaries
Secure your seat at the final ever Country-City clash in Mudgee on Sunday, 7 May. Purchase tickets today to witness history as the curtain draws on a great Rugby League tradition.