Southern Inland Rugby Union
A STRONG Southern Inland squad was announced yesterday ahead of the Brumbies Provincial Tournament at Jindabyne over the June long weekend.
The Rams have won the last three tournaments with new coach Richard Turnbull looking to extend the winning streak when the tournament starts on June 7.
Former Crusader Marika Vunibaka leads the 25-man squad, with Turnbull thrilled someone of his calibre put his name up for selection.
"There a couple of guys coming into the team that haven't played in the zone including Marika Vunibaka," Turnbull said.
"He is just playing for fun and enjoying his rugby, but he is a nice name to have in the squad."
Four Griffith recruits are set to debut for the Southern Inland representative team with Vunibaka, Daniel Dowson, Vaea Mateo and Dan Rawaqa all selected.
Eight clubs are represented in the squad with Tumut, Leeton and Temora the only clubs without a player named in the initial squad.
Waratahs are the most represented club with six players including captain Jock Munro selected in the squad, five Ag College players will line up alongside the Blacks four selections.
This season's surprise packets Young had three players selected as do premiers Albury.
The Orange-based coach believes there is a good mix of backs and forwards in the squad after of the tournament which will now feature four teams.
South Australia has joined Monaro, South Coast in the competition, but South Australian players are ineligible to be selected in the Brumbies Provincial team that will play Australian Police as a curtain raiser to the Brumbies home game against Western Force.
Turnbull believes the addition of South Australia will be an extra test for the team.
"It think some very good players have put their names forwards and it should be a nice comp with South Australia coming in as well," Turnbull said.
"Bringing in South Australia certainly strengthens the comp quite nicely as I believe South Australia has some very handy players and it will be a hard tests against them."
Turnbull will have his first training run with the squad on Friday at Conolly Rugby Complex and the team will regather the following Friday for another light run before the journey to Jindabyne on June 7.
SOUTHERN INLAND REPRESENTATIVE SQUAD
Stu Garrett, James Grimmett, Jack Burey, Tanian Naude, Keifer Power (Ag College), Jock Munro, Jake Eaglesham, Jayden Stanton, Chris Murray, Harry Cook, Steve Tracey (Waratahs), Sterling Ross, Napolioni Naiyavalesi (CSU), Ash Lefevre, Aaron McDougall, Tom Boyle (Albury), Hamish Wrafter (Wagga City), Alex Hardie (Cootamundra), Marika Vunibaka, Daniel Dowson, Vaea Mateo, Dan Rawaqa (Griffith), Rory Sheard, Inoke Rasabale, Rhun Jones (Young)