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Newcastle players dominate Country rep squads


The all-conquering Newcastle Rebels will supply the bulk of the Country side for its annual clash with City this month.

Following a comprehensive 20-4 victory over the Monaro Colts in the final of the NSWRL championships in March, nine members of the triumphant outfit have been selected to run onto Leichhardt Oval, in Sydney, on Saturday 18 May.

That includes Maitland Pickers quartet Jayden Butterfield, Chad O’Donnell, Matt Soper-Lawler and James Taylor, South Newcastle Lions duo Ryan Glanville and Lewis Hamilton, Cessnock Goannas pair Luke Huth and Honeti Tuha, and Central Newcastle Butcher Boys skipper Cameron Anderson.

South Newcastle Lions representative second-rower Lewis Hamilton. Photo: Rod Thompson

The men’s open age team tackles a rival made up of players from the Ron Massey Cup.

It’s an honour they should all cherish.

Country v City matches started in 1911 before the concept was shelved.

The format returned in 1928 and, from 1987 to 2017, took place under State of Origin selection rules.

But, the traditional contest resumed on the NSWRL calendar in 2021.

The region’s well-represented in the other divisions, too.

Newcastle Maitland Region Knights trio of Chase Butler, Curtis Mulherin and Chip Valentish will don the Country under-16 boys’ jumper, while Newcastle Knights young guns Jack Hilliar, Cody Hopwood and Connor Votano gained the nod for City’s under-18s.

Muswellbrook’s Newcastle Knights playmaker Evie Jones.

Talented youngsters Macey Cox, Isla Hodgson, Emily Macarthur and Maronay Smuts, who take the field for Newcastle’s Lisa Fiaola Cup side, earned berths in the Country under-17s, with Knights’ Tarsha Gale Cup juniors Makaah Darcy, Evie Jones and Lilly-Ann White named in the under-19s.

The full schedule comprises matches in under-16 boys, under-18 boys, men’s open age, wheelchair rugby league, physical disability rugby league, under-17 girls, under-19 women, women’s police and men’s police.

Showdowns kick off from 11am (18 May) and 10am (19 May).


Saturday 18 May  

Leichardt Oval 

  • 11am – Under 16 NSW Country v NSW City
  • 12.35pm – Under 18 NSW Country v NSW City
  • 2.20pm – Men’s open age NSW Country v NSW City

Whitlam Leisure Centre 

  • 4pm – Wheelchair Rugby League NSW Country v NSW City

Sunday 19 May 

Leichhardt Oval 

  • 10am – Physical Disability Rugby League
  • 11.15am – Under 17 girls NSW Country v NSW City
  • 12.50pm – Under 19 women NSW Country v NSW City 
  • 2.25pm – Women’s Police NSW Country v NSW City
  • 4pm – Men’s Police NSW Country v NSW City


Saturday 18 May

CABE Under-16 boys (11am Leichhardt Oval)

  • Country: Chase Butler (Newcastle Maitland Region Knights), Kalen Cashin (Central Coast Roosters), Logan Coombes (Western Rams), Jack Dean-Potaka (Central Coast Roosters), Jake Gaffney (Macarthur Wests Tigers), Duncan Gatt-Smith (Central Coast Roosters), Koby Houghton (Central Coast Roosters), Taj Jordan (Western Rams), Semi Leweniqila (Central Coast Roosters), Billy Mulheran (Northern Rivers Titans), Curtis Mulherin (Newcastle Maitland Region Knights), Kye Penfold (Macarthur Wests Tigers), Kemp Riches (Western Rams), Triston Ross (Western Rams), Andrew Sio (Macarthur Wests Tigers), Mitchell Sleigh (Illawarra South Coast Dragons), Alexander Stephenson (Central Coast Roosters), Chip Valentish (Newcastle Maitland Region Knights). Coach: Shaun Davison
  • City: Cyrus Bloomfield (Parramatta Eels), Talmage Brown (Penrith Panthers), Liam Challenor (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), Jamie Curran (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), Cruz Death (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles), Darcy Feltham (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Thomas Goodfield (Western Suburbs Magpies), Siotame Havea Jr (Western Suburbs Magpies), Ashton Large (Western Suburbs Magpies), Leo-Stipe Latu (Penrith Panthers), Jhevon Lele (Western Suburbs Magpies), Lachlan Metcalfe (Sydney Roosters), Michael Nauer (Parramatta Eels), Jeziah Papa (Sydney Roosters), Samuel Polley (Parramatta Eels), Talen Risati (Parramatta Eels), Braith Sloane (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Paula Teisina (Sydney Roosters). Coach: Frank Pritchard

CABE Under-18 boys (12.35pm Leichhardt Oval)

  • Country: Jonah Anderson (Monaro Colts), Cooper Black (Western Rams), Mitchell Brophy (Monaro Colts), Billy Brown (Central Coast Roosters), James Croker (Monaro Colts), Archie Duncombe (Macarthur Wests Tigers), Joseph Elton (Monaro Colts), Josiah Fesolai (Central Coast Roosters), Saint Fuatimau (Macarthur Wests Tigers), Jordan Hamlin (Northern Tigers), Alex Hardy (Monaro Colts), Harry Hudson (Monaro Colts), Reece Josephson (Northern Tigers), Kohan Lewis (Macarthur Wests Tigers), Jesse Milin (Monaro Colts), Dylan Smith (Macarthur Wests Tigers), Zechariah Taufa (Illawarra South Coast Dragons), Luke Tuialii (Monaro Colts). Coach: Brendan Bradley
  • City: Hayden Buchanan (Illawarra Steelers), Alex Challenor (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), Jezaiah Funa-Luta (Parramatta Eels), Jacob Halangahu (St George Dragons), Jack Hilliar (Newcastle Knights), Cody Hopwood (Newcastle Knights), Finau Latu (St George Dragons), Luke Laulilii (Western Suburbs Magpies), Hokafonu Lemoto (Penrith Panthers), Heamasi Makasini (Western Suburbs Magpies), Zaidas Muagututia (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Kye Raven (Penrith Panthers), Ratu Rinakama (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Toby Rodwell (Sydney Roosters), Cyrus Stanley-Traill (St George Dragons), Connor Votano (Newcastle Knights), Nikora Williams (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), Mitchell Woods (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs). Coach: Peter Marrapodi

CABE Men’s open age (2.20pm Leichhardt Oval)

  • Country: Cameron Anderson (Newcastle Maitland Region Knights), Joshua Ayers (Monaro Colts), Jake Brisbane (Macarthur Wests Tigers), Jayden Butterfield (Newcastle Maitland Region Knights), Joshua Dowel (Illawarra South Coast Dragons), Ryan Glanville (Newcastle Maitland Region Knights), Lewis Hamilton (Newcastle Maitland Region Knights), Luke Huth (Newcastle Maitland Region Knights), Steven Marsters (Illawarra South Coast Dragons), James Morgan (Riverina Bulls), Lachlan Munro (Riverina Bulls), Chad O’Donnell (Newcastle Maitland Region Knights), Ryan Shaw (Central Coast Roosters), Matthew Soper-Lawler (Newcastle Maitalnd Region Knights), James Taylor (Newcastle Maitland Region Knights), Royce Tout (Riverina Bulls), Honeti Tuha (Newcastle Maitland Region Knights), Jake Woods (Central Coast Roosters). Coach: Wade Forrester
  • City: TBC

CABE Wheelchair Rugby League (4pm Whitlam Leisure Centre)

  • Country: Jason Attard, Zachary Carl, Richard Engles, Brad Grove, Diab Karim, Edie Morgan, Toby Popple, Mitchell Stone
  • City: Wessam Bakkour, Cory Cannane, Craig Cannane, Mohammad Chemaissem, William Derederenalagi, Edge Iole, Liam Luff, Stephan Rochecouste

Sunday 19 May

CABE Physical Disability Rugby League (10am Leichhardt Oval)

  • Country: William Bussell, Dean Clark, Lindsay Elliott, Che Fornusek, Rylan Gaudron, Samuel Hogan, Mark Keaton, Gary Kingi, Mark McCoy, Fletcher Netting, Chris Sansom, Edward Sharpe, Alexander Smith, Luke Vella, Brett Weiss
  • City: Geoff Clarke, Hayden Coulton, Bryce Crane, Ryan Cutler, Todd Dorwood, Denzel Edwards, Daniel Koteski, Edward Lennon, Jaylen Martin, Shrivanka Perera, Joel Pragnell, Daniel Sheppard, Jonathan Smith, Fred Taiba, Cooper Travers

Westpac Under-17 girls (11.15am Leichhardt Oval)

  • Country: Teuila Ahkey (Monaro Colts), Halle Barrett (Illawarra Steelers), Ellie Brander (Central Coast Roosters), Mahlie Cashin (Central Coast Roosters), Macey Cox (Newcastle Knights), Paula-Lee Going (Monaro Colts), Emilee-Rose Hall (Central Coast Roosters), Isla Hodgson (Newcastle Knights), Ella Knowles (Central Coast Roosters), Emily Macarthur (Newcastle Knights), Tahlia O’Brien (Illawarra Steelers), Molly Pittman (Central Coast Roosters), Makenna Ravouvou (Monaro Colts), Tori Shipton (Illawarra Steelers), Maronay Smuts (Newcastle Knights), Uta Uatisone Poka (Monaro Colts), Mia Vaotuua (Central Coast Roosters), Joshalynn Walker (Northern Rivers Titans). Coach: Jayme Fressard
  • City: Paige Attard (Wests Tigers), Rhiannon Bonner (Wests Tigers), Lacey Cross (Sydney Roosters), Aliahana Fuimaono (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), May Fuimaono (Wests Tigers), Khyliah Gray (Parramatta Eels), Hannah Ison (Penrith Panthers), Anastasia Leatupue (Sydney Roosters), Logan Lemusu (Parramatta Eels), Lucyannah Luamanu-Leiataua (Wests Tigers), Bailey Ma-Chong (Parramatta Eels), Angel Schaafhausen-Mino (Wests Tigers), Alleya Scrivens (Parramatta Eels), Danielle Seckold (Parramatta Eels), Trinity Tauaneai (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Fontayne Tufuga (Parramatta Eels), Olivia Vaalele (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Kiana Vatubua (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs). Coach: Charlotte Henry

Westpac Under 19s Women (12.50pm Leichhardt Oval)

  • Country: Cheyenne Baker (Wests Tigers), Charlotte Basham (Illawarra Steelers), Indie Bostock (Illawarra Steelers), Makaah Darcy (Newcastle Knights), Tyra Ekepati (Sydney Roosters), Evie Jones (Newcastle Knights), Ella Koster (Illawarra Steelers), Evie McGrath (Illawarra Steelers), Tess McWilliams (Sydney Roosters), Hope Millard (Illawarra Steelers), Maria Paseka (Illawarra Steelers), Herewaka Pohatu (Illawarra Steelers), Kasey Reh (Illawarra Steelers), Chelsea Savill (Illawarra Steelers), Mia-Rose Walsh (Illawarra Steelers), Lilly-Ann White (Newcastle Knights), Bronte Wilson (Illawarra Steelers), Sienna Yeo (Illawarra Steelers). Coach: Courtney Crawford
  • City: Ryvrr-Lee Alo (Parramatta Eels), Abby Aros (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Lili Boyle (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles), Claudia Brown (Wests Tigers), Oriana Epati (Sydney Roosters), Taneisha Gray (St George Dragons), Kayla Henderson (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Waimarie Martin (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Bella McEachern (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Evah McEwen (Newcastle Knights), Rory Muller (Parramatta Eels), Ambryn Murphy-Haua (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Audrey Nadaya-Harb (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Raphaella Perigo (Parramatta Eels), Pauline Suli-Ruka (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Manilita Takapautolo (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), Lindsay Tui (Parramatta Eels), Tia-Jordyn Vasilovski (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks). Coach: Karen Stuart

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