THE best youngsters from throughout the region are expected to strut their stuff at the Denman Recreational Area this weekend.
Hunter Valley Group 21 Junior Rugby League, in conjunction with NRL Development and the CRL, is hosting the inaugural Hunter Cup on Saturday, showcasing approximately 300 gifted players.
Under-13, under-14 and under-15 teams from Groups 4, 19, 21, Newcastle and Maitland will go head-to-head in a four-game round robin for bragging rights – and much-needed experience.
There are high hopes for the local contingent, too, with Aberdeen, Denman, Muswellbrook, Scone and Singleton all strongly represented in their respective line-ups.
“We’re anticipating all of the Group 21 sides to do wonderfully well,” rep secretary Hayley Pennell said.
“Newcastle and Maitland will be hard to beat.
“But, our boys should give a good account of themselves – each squad has a different strength.”
Pennell admitted it was a “massive weekend” for Group 21.
“We’ve got a big day ahead of us,” she explained.
“This new concept has been added to the [rep] calendar due to the CRL Country Championships being pushed back to September and the cancellation of the Newcastle Knights Cup.
“So, we have 30 matches scheduled.
“Although some of the teams have already had a few hit-outs, it’s important they play trials.
“They not only need to gel [with combinations, for example], they require games under their belts in the lead-up to the CRL Country Championships.”
Hunter Valley Group 21 Junior Rugby League
Under-13 representative squad: Rylan Barndon (Muswellbrook), Josh Crowther (Scone), Jacob Cordina (Scone), Callum Dowell (Scone), Drewe Gilbert (Scone), Braedon Hails (Scone), Deacon Hampstead (Singleton), Talon Harrington (Scone), Tangi Holaafolau (Scone), Jordan Mount (Scone), Riley Pennell (Scone), Brady Roser (Scone), Jaxon Schafer (Muswellbrook), Mykola Trofymenko (Scone), Dustyn Turner (Denman), Cohen Watson (Denman), James Watson (Scone), Aajay Watts (Scone), Tully Wholert (Singleton)
Under-13 draw –
10am: F2, Group 21 v Group 4
10.30am: F2, Maitland v Group 19
11.30am: F2, Newcastle v Group 21
Noon: F2, Group 4 v Group 19
12.30pm: F2, Maitland v Newcastle
2pm: F2, Group 4 v Maitland
2.30pm: F2, Group 21 v Group 19
3pm: F2, Newcastle v Group 4
4pm: F1, Maitland v Group 21
4pm: F2, Group 19 v Newcastle
Under-14 representative squad: Jessy Burley (Singleton), Taj Claydon (Aberdeen), Jake Clydsdale (Scone), Tom Donehue (Singleton), Lawson Enosa (Aberdeen), Tom Dahmes (Scone), Eli Foote (Singleton), Ashton Frost (Scone), Mitchell Galvin (Aberdeen), Callum Goodwin (Aberdeen), Josh Halliwell (Aberdeen), Corben Hampstead (Singleton), Fergus Hartmann (Scone), Kayne Hoad (Denman), Tevita Holaafolau (Scone), Mitchell Kemp (Aberdeen), Hunter Marsh (Denman), Connor Newman (Scone), Junuh Warden (Scone)
Under-14 draw –
9am: F2, Group 21 v Group 4
9.30am: F2, Maitland v Group 19
10.30am: F1, Group 4 v Group 19
11am: F2, Newcastle v Group 21
Noon: F1, Maitland v Newcastle
1pm: F2, Group 19 v Group 21
1.30pm: F2, Group 4 v Maitland
2pm: F1, Newcastle v Group 19
3pm: F1, Group 21 v Maitland
3pm: F2, Newcastle v Group 4
Under-15 representative squad: Max Andrews (Singleton), Hunter Ball (Denman), Hayden Bull (Scone), Ned Chapman (Denman), Ryan Clerke (Scone), Nick Coombes (Denman), Hunter Dever (Aberdeen), Tommy Dixon (Denman), Sam Fechner (Scone), Chris Fry (Singleton), Blake Johnston (Scone), Will Lambkin (Singleton), Nick Laurie (Scone), Jaymon Matthews (Singleton), Cooper Maytom (Singleton), Daltyn McCartney (Denman), Samual Mount (Scone), Jack Pickett (Scone), Mitchell Pike (Singleton), Hamish Watts (Scone)
Under-15 draw –
9am: F1, Group 21 v Group 4
9.30am: F1, Maitland v Group 19
10am: F1, Group 21 v Newcastle
11am: F1, Group 4 v Group 19
11.30am: F1, Maitland v Newcastle
12.30pm: F1, Group 21 v Group 19
1pm: F1, Group 4 v Newcastle
1.30pm: F1, Maitland v Group 21
2.30pm: F1, Group 19 v Newcastle
3.30pm: F1, Group 4 v Maitland