Brumbies Provincial team set for big clash with NSW Country

Nathan Batina is one of seven Leeton players in the Brumbies Provincial Team.

Nathan Batina is one of seven Leeton players in the Brumbies Provincial Team.

Brumbies Provincial coach Richard Skellern is bracing for a big test against NSW Country on Saturday.

The teams met last year, when the Cockatoos come away with a 48-5 win, but Skellern believes they take a stronger team into the clash at Vikings Park in Canberra this time around.

He expects a closer contest this time.

“Country is a very good side and they clearly train and play a lot more together than what we get the chance to so I’m hoping we can be a really competitive,” Skellern said.

“I think we have a very good this time year that can be competitive enough to get us over the line.”

The back line is one of the biggest differences with plenty of speed and skill on the edge.

It was an area NSW Country exploited last season but Skellern believes it won’t be the case this time around.

“We certainly know it is going to be a tough forwards battle, we had a very good forward pack last year scrum wise and took it to Country so no doubt they will be prepared for that this year,” he said.

“I think our back line little bit slicker than what it was last year.”

One thing working against the Brumbies Provincial Team is the fact they’ve had little preparation for the clash.

The team was only selected from the shortened Brumbies Provincial Tournament on Saturday and will gather on game day.

On the other hand the NSW Country team was selected from the Country Championships in April and they’ve already had one game under their belts.

They scored a big win 40-7 over NSW Suburban in June 4.

It was a scoreline that surprised and worries Skellern.

At this stage there are no changes to the team which is dominated by Southern Inland players.

Of the 23 players selected, 16 are from the region including the entire starting back line.

At this stage there hasn’t been any changes from the team selected on Saturday.

SIRU’S BRUMBIES PROVINICAL TEAM MEMBERS: Tom Macleay, Cam Duffy (Ag College), Austin Wallace, Tom Hallam (Waratahs), James Devlin (Albury), Nathan Seymour, Stu Dyer (Wagga City), Chris Latu (Griffith), Sai Ratudradra, Joe Kafoa-Pene, Simon Vunilagi, Noa Rabici, Siti Watkins, Joe Ratu, Nathan Batina (Leeton), Josef Glamuzina (Tumut)

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