NSW Country Rugby Union Championships: Everything you need to know

It’s full steam ahead for this weekend’s NSW Country Rugby Union Championships at Warren, the first time the Western Plains zone has hosted country week in its 65-year history.

Victoria Park is set to welcome upwards of 1000 people for this weekend’s Caldwell Cup, Richardson Shield, Rowlands Cup and Women’s Sevens tournaments, incredibly almost half of Warren’s regular population of 2,700.

For the first time the championships will also boast a tent city of sorts, with the majority of sides staying on site in a bid to truly support the Western Plains zone’s first crack at hosting.

As usual, all of NSW Country Rugby Union’s regions will be on hand to compete but 2018 also welcomes the debut of the Northern Bushrangers, a hybrid side made up of Central North and New England, two zones that wouldn’t have been able to field sides individually.

Central West’s sides will be looking to claim plenty of silverware, the opens in the top tier and the colts in the Rowlands Cup while the women’s sevens side is gunning to defend last year’s championship win.

Leading in, we’ve provided you with everything you could possibly need, or want to know.

CALDWELL CUP

CHAMPIONS: Newcastle-Hunter celebrates its 2017 Caldwell Cup victory. Photo: NHRU

CHAMPIONS: Newcastle-Hunter celebrates its 2017 Caldwell Cup victory. Photo: NHRU

SEEDINGS

1 | Newcastle-Hunter (reigning champions)

2 | Illawarra

3 | Central West

4 | Mid North Coast (promoted)

TEAM LISTS

  • NEWCASTLE-HUNTER: 1 Will Fonua (Hamilton), 2 Steve Lamont (Hamilton), 3 Barcelona Lupematasila (Lake Macquarie), 4 Glen Stone (Southern Beaches), 5 Sevanaia Rokoboro (Hamilton), 6 Darcy Christie-Johnson (UON), 7 Liam Bowden (Singleton), 8 Kelemate Finau (Southern Beaches), 9 Max Stafford (Maitland), 10 Dane Sherratt (Hamilton), 11 Caileb Gerrard (Lake Macquarie), 12 Michael Delore (Southern Beaches), 13 Jayson Strachan (MC Rugby), 14 Tim Marsh (Wanderers), 15 Adrian Delore (Southern Beaches); Bench: 16 Michael Aliifaalogo (Southern Beaches), 17 Chris Ale (Hamilton), 18 Blair Rush (Wanderers), 19 Joe Akkersdyk (Hamilton), 20 Sapati Peniata (Maitland), 21 Eddie Clifton (MC Rugby), 22 William Frost (MC Rugby), 23 Sevuloni Bailey (Hamilton), 24 Robert Richardson (Southern Beaches)
  • ILLAWARRA: 1 JP Nel (Bowral), 2 Wayne Ngatai (UOW), 3 Oli Simanu (Camden), 4 Jack Hobbs (Vikings), 5 Cody Roman (Vikings), 6 Leighton Cowley (Kiama), 7 Dane Nethery (VIkings), 8 Paul Tuala (UOW), 9 Tim Small (Bowral), 10 Sillipa Tuigamala (Avondale), 11 Sam Latu (UOW), 12 Nua Alone (Avondale), 13 George Rixon (UOW), 14 Henry Yiull (Bowral), 15 Jacob Kara (Avondale); Bench: 16 Taniela Tuipulotu (Tech Tahs), 17 Tuumuliileuao Tait-Taanoa (Avondale), 18 Ben Cheetham (UOW), 19 Takunda Chimwaza (UOW), 20 Etuale Lolohea (Campbelltown), 21 Tom Baker (UOW), 22 Aisake Tuevu (Kiama), 23 Tom Sawden (Vikings), 24 Todd Pearce (Bowral), 25 Anthony Amone (Avondale)
  • CENTRAL WEST: 1 Charlie French (Forbes Platypi), 2 Jarrod Hall (Forbes Platypi), 3 Nas Havealeta (Orange Emus), 4 Nick Hughes-Clapp (Orange Emus), 5 Chris Miller (Cowra Eagles), 6 Dan Ryan (Parkes Boars), 7 Mark Baldwin (Dubbo Kangaroos), 8 Peter Fitzsimmons (Bathurst Bulldogs), 9 Lloyd Rogers (Parkes Boars), 10 Mahe Fangupo (Forbes Platypi), 11 Tom Green (Orange Emus), 12 Lachie Harris (Orange Emus), Jack Hammond (Forbes Platypi), 14 Harry Webber (Bathurst Bulldogs), 15 Lochie Robinson (CSU Bathurst); Bench: 16 Aaron Booby (Bathurst Bulldogs), 17 Tom Dewhurst (Cowra Eagles), 18 Joel Harper (Bathurst Bulldogs), 19 Ben Ryan (Parkes Boars), 20 Feleti Wolfgramm (Orange City Lions), 21 Jack O’Connor (Harden Red Devils), 22 Zac White (Molong Magpies), 23 Joe Nash (Parkes Boars), 24 Will Oldham (Bathurst Bulldogs), 25 Tom Macleay (Forbes Platypi), 26 Dave Birch (Mudgee Wombats)
  • MID NORTH COAST: 1 Tavita Talamaivao (Port Macquarie), 2 Josh Bray (Wauchope), 3 Peter Gowler (Port Macquarie), 4 Ed McGrath (Grafton), 5 Scott Munro © (Port Macquarie), 6 Sam Callow (SCU), 7 AJ Gilbert (SCU), 8 Tim Anderson (SCU), 9 Lloyd Simms-Chambers (Coffs Harbour), 10 Chris Logan (Gloucster), 11 James Handford (Wallamba), 12 Pat Keen (Wallamba), 13 Ed Cordingly (Wallamba), 14 Kini Dauvuce (Kempsey), 15 Ryan Yates (Gloucester); Bench: 16 Dan Hessing (Wallamba), 17 James Bellamy (Coffs Harbour), 18 Kye Marshall (Port Macquarie), 19 Jeremy Winn (Kempsey), 20 Kaes Besseling (Port Macquarie), 21 Dom Bullock (Grafton), 22 Brannon Murray (Coffs Harbour), 23 Dan Willoughby (Hastings Valley), 24 Josh Walker (Coffs Harbour)
BREAKING IT DOWN: NSW Country legend Pauli Tuala will once again line up in Illawarra's back-row. Photo: ILLAWARRA MERCURY

BREAKING IT DOWN: NSW Country legend Pauli Tuala will once again line up in Illawarra's back-row. Photo: ILLAWARRA MERCURY

DRAW

Saturday, April 28

Game 1: Illawarra v Mid North Coast (field 1, 1.30pm kick-off)

Game 2: Newcastle-Hunter v Central West (field 1, 4.30pm kick-off)

Sunday, April 29

Third-place play-off for relegation: Loser G1 v Loser G2 (field 1, TBC kick-off)

Grand final: Winner G1 v Winner G2 (field 1, 2.20pm kick-off)

RICHARDSON SHIELD

SEEDINGS

1 | Far North Coast

2 | Northern Bushrangers 

3 | Central Coast

4 | Western Plains

PROMOTION: Mid North Coast won last year's Richardson Shield, its first in 40 years, to earn promotion to the Caldwell Cup. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

PROMOTION: Mid North Coast won last year's Richardson Shield, its first in 40 years, to earn promotion to the Caldwell Cup. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

TEAM LISTS

  • FAR NORTH COAST: 1 Sam Pearce (Ballina), 2 Dan Heritage (Casuarina), 3 Sam Rawsthorne (Bangalow), 4 Darcy Hilton (Bangalow), 5 Dan Rollinson (Bangalow), 6 Brenden Williams (Lismore), 7 Ryan Biscoe (Bangalow), 8 Aniri Whewell (Ballina), 9 Vincent Quigley (Mullumbimby), 10 Vitori Buatava (Casuarina), 11 Terry Ferguson (Ballina), 12 Anthony Lolohea (Ballina), 13 Grant Knight (Ballina), 14 Vincent Young (Bangalow), 15 Ben Damen (Wollongbar); Bench: 16 Isaac Pratten (Ballina), 17 Simeli Miranalesekula (Bangalow), 18 Aidan Edwards (Ballina), 19 Jeremia Faifaise (Lennox Head), 20 Teale Pyne (Mullumbimby), 21 Dru Baggaley (Byron Bay), 22 Nathan Nicholls (Mullumbimby), 23 Louis Hollman (Wollongbar), 24 Michael Miskle (Evans River)
  • NORTHERN BUSHRANGERS: 1 Hayden Griffiths (Pirates), 2 Tim Collins (Pirates), 3 Andrew Collins (Pirates), 4 Tom Grant (Quirindi), 5 Lachlan Mack (Barraba), 6 Doug Biffin (Pirates), 7 Sam Collins (Pirates), 8 Conrad Starr (Pirates), 9 James Trappel (Pirates), 10 Joe Hinchey (Gunnedah), 11 Will Morley (Narrabri), 12 Andrew Mepham (Pirates), 13 Navi Tiko (Armidale Blues), 14 Lewyn Rapana (Pirates), 15 Jake Hartman (Pirates); Bench: 16 Jared Mitchell (Barbarians), 17 Tyson Waters (Barbarians), 18 Ben Goodman (Pirates), 19 Jack Shelton (Pirates), 20 Cooper Thompson (Magpies), 21 Oscar Hunt (Gunnedah), 22 Alan Sullivan (Barbarians), 23 Toby Knight (Narrabri), 24 Rhys Graham (Barbarians), 25 Matthew Hubbard (Barbarians)
  • CENTRAL COAST: 1 Luke Sheridan (Avoca), 2 Ethan McInnes (Terrigal), 3 Kevin McNamara (Warnervale), 4 Josefa Biu (Ourimbah), 5 Josh Cotter (Terrigal), 6 Joe Taylor (Terrigal), 7 Jarrod Grange (Ourimbah), 8 Elekana Laupola (Ourimbah), 9 Matt King (Ourimbah), 10 Dylan Cadogan (Avoca), 11 Shaun Townsend (Avoca), 12 Marc Koteczky (Terrigal), 13 Mitch Hirst (Terrigal), 14 Brent Merritt (Terrigal), 15 Mitch Riley (Warnervale); Bench: 16 Will Fraser (Ourimbah), 17 Setareki Wainiqolo (Terrigal), 18 Jordan Clark (Ourimbah), 19 Jake McPhie (Avoca), 20 Sam White (Hornsby), 21 Angus Macquen (Hornsby), 22 Brenton Acreman (Warnervale), 23 Salipopo Pamata (Terrigal), 24 Mitch Johnson (Warnervale), 25 Dan Reihana (Avoca)
  • WESTERN PLAINS: 1 Angus Currans (Nyngan), 2 Jack Kelly (Warren), 3 Rory Finlayson (Brewarrina), 4 Ben Egan (Warren), 5 Angus Redmond (Walgett), 6 Andrew Cosgrove (Warren), 7 Tye Simmonds (Bourke), 8 Joash Mann (Bourke), 9 Charlie Colless (Walgett), 10 Anthony Fuller (Warren), 11 Ian Hinton (Warren), 12 Richie Steele (Warren), 13 Justin O’Brien (Walgett), 14 Wylie Waterford (Coonamble), 15 Matt Stephens (Warren); Bench: 16 Tim Robins (Walgett), 17 Sam O’Brien (Walgett), 18 Tom Dyring (Warren), 19 Brendon Nelson (Nyngan), 20 Liam Dorrington (Nyngan), 21 Harry Pye (Walgett), 22 Jim Elias (Nyngan), 23 Baden Barker (Brewarrina), 24 Blair Hooper (Warren), 25 Fletcher Jackson (Nyngan)

DRAW

Saturday, April 28

Game 1: Central Coast v Far North Coast (field 1, 12.10pm kick-off)

Game 2: Western Plains v Northern Bushrangers (field 1, 3pm kick-off)

Sunday, April 29

Third-place play-off: Loser G1 v Loser G2 (field 1, 9am kick-off)

Grand final for promotion: Winner G1 v Winner G2 (field 1, TBC kick-off)

ROWLANDS CUP COLTS

THE BEST: Central Coast celebrates its Rowlands Cup colts win last year. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

THE BEST: Central Coast celebrates its Rowlands Cup colts win last year. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

SEEDINGS

1 | Central Coast (reigning champions) 

2 | Newcastle-Hunter

3 | Central West

4 | Illawarra

TEAM LISTS

  • CENTRAL COAST: 1 Sean Coolmer (Terrigal), 2 Bradley Pond (The Entrance), 3 Mitchell Orrock (Ourimbah), 4 Will McDonald (Terrigal), 5 Connor Lawson (Ourimbah), 6 Matthew Martin (Warnervale), 7 Chad Shipton (Terrigal), 8 Sione Fanua (Woy Woy), 9 Connor Peden (Ourimbah), 10 Mitch Leonard (Woy Woy), 11 Luke Brown (Ourimbah), 12 Corbin Walters (Ourimbah), 13 Sean Peruch (Kariong), 14 Adam Chettle (Avoca), 15 Blair Roach-Frost (Gosford); Bench: 16 Nick Moors (Woy Woy), 17 Corey Stone (Ourimbah), 18 Connor Jenkins (Avoca), 19 Jimmy Cunynghame (Ourimbah), 20 Ethan Church (Woy Woy), 21 Webb Lillith (FNC), Kai George (FNC)
  • NEWCASTLE-HUNTER: 1 Reece Lonsdale (Southern Beaches), 2 Beau Merrick (Singleton), 3 Jacob Barrett (Hamilton), 4 Ben Wood (Maitland), 5 Caleb Hopping (Hamilton), 6 Lachlan Miller (MC Rugby), 7 Alex Vaughan (Singleton), 8 Harrison Dal Molin (Wanderers), 9 Eli McCullock (Hamilton), 10 Dan Watling (MC Rugby), 12 Hone Edwards (UON), 13 Reece Bray (MC Rugby), 14 Ethan Fowles (MC Rugby), 15 Isaac Ulberg (Maitland); Bench: 16 Rowdi Saunders (Wanderers), 17 Will Archer (Wanderers), 18 Angus Shields (Wanderers), 19 Connor Wild (Wanderers), 20 Oliver Ryan (MC Rugby), 21 Jonny Watson (Southern Beaches), 22 Jacob Rabai (Hamilton), 23 Jack Allen (Hamilton), 24 Hayden Sills (Southern Beaches).
  • CENTRAL WEST: Nick Fisher, Hayden Goodall, Hayden Leopold, Tim Proberts, Jack Connors (Orange City Lions), Lachlan Buckton,  Rylee Lew (CSU Bathurst), George Fletcher, Alex Saint, Connor Pascoe (Mudgee Wombats), Sam Greatbatch (Orange Emus), Jake Sullivan, Charlie Sharwood, James Wilson (Bathurst Bulldogs), Josh Jasprizza, Pat Berryman ©, Harry O’Leary (Dubbo Kangaroos), Angus Hickey (SCU Marlins)
  • ILLAWARRA: 1 Will Smith (UOW), 2 Jeromy Cairns (Avondale), 3 Sam Laurie (UOW), 4 Nick Cracknell (Shamrocks), 5 Will Laws (Campbelltown), 6 Alex Srbinovski (UOW), 7 Opeti Taufahema (UOW), 8 Talu Seiuli (Camden), 9 Jett Hatton (UOW), 10 Te Ata Whai Mason (UOW), 11 Reece Apolo (UOW), 12 Jack Hannaford (UOW), 13 Eric Suitu Leilua (Avondale), 14 Morgan Allan (Wollondilly), 15 Mani Tuigamala (Avondale); Bench: 16 Angus Males (UOW), 17 Harry Devine (Shamrocks), 18 Tavite Amone (Avondale), 19 Jackson Rice (UOW), 20 Manaia Cairns (Avondale), 21 Ben Holland (UOW), 22 Tai Matenga (UOW), 23 Chris Hawksworth (Tech Tahs), 24 Valere Moise (UOW), 25 Simon Bayley (UOW)
YOUNG GUN: Orange Emus' Sam Greatbatch has played plenty of grade rugby, but will line up in Central West's colts outfit this weekend. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

YOUNG GUN: Orange Emus' Sam Greatbatch has played plenty of grade rugby, but will line up in Central West's colts outfit this weekend. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

DRAW

Saturday, April 28

Game 1: Newcastle-Hunter v Illawarra (field 1, 9.40am kick-off)

Game 2: Central Coast v Central West (field 1, 11am kick-off)

Sunday, April 29

Third-place play-off: Loser G1 v Loser G2 (field 2, 9am kick-off)

Grand final: Winner G1 v Winner G2 (field 1, 1pm kick-off)

WOMEN’S SEVENS

HISTORY MADE: Central West claimed the inaugural women's sevens country championship last year. Photo: AMANDA FERGUSON

HISTORY MADE: Central West claimed the inaugural women's sevens country championship last year. Photo: AMANDA FERGUSON

SEEDINGS

1 | Central West (reigning champions)

2 | Newcastle-Hunter

3 | Mid North Coast

4 | Central North

REMAINDER: New England, Central Coast, Western Plains

TEAM LISTS

  • CENTRAL WEST: Sharnah Stevens, Kenesha Stevens, Eden Heke, Kyrstal Fyfe (West Wyalong Redbacks), Amie Fazekas, Roxy Dougall (Temora Tuskers), Courtney Currie (Orange City Lions), Helen Limm (Mudgee Wombats), Mandy Scott, Alyza Doulis (Bathurst Bulldogs), Louise Raleigh (Cootamundra Tri-Colours), Tanielle Michael (Cowra Eagles)
  • NEWCASTLE-HUNTER: Lupe Ngatuvai (Easts), Bobbi Laws (Waratah), Annika Jamieson (Waratah), Leilani Nathan (Hamilton), Nicole Nathan (Hamilton), Tahlia Goldsmith (Waratah), Yasmin Meakes (HWRU), Emma Bradford (Easts), Maya Stewart (Waratah), Britney Duff (UON), Maddison Ingram (Merewether), Anika Butler (Waratah)
  • MID NORTH COAST: Naomi George (Wauchope), Kaitlin Leaney (SCU), Lauren Linton (SCU), Mary-Lyn Matareke (Port Macquarie), Ellie Johnston (Wauchope), Greta Smith (SCU), Erykah Waters (SCU), Emily Conlan (SCU), Daniel Mayol (SCU), Felicity George (Wauchope)
  • CENTRAL NORTH: Ainsleigh Thomas (Inverell), Ashlee Knight (Inverell), Sally Bowe (Scone), Meg Huber (Scone), Emily Adams (Inverell), Abby McClure (Narrabri), Lucy Prudeen (Scone), Lauren Nott (Inverell), Mykayla Crisp (Inverell), Hannah Crisp (Inverell), Rhiannon Byers (Inverell), Shana Povey-Hyatt (Inverell)
  • CENTRAL COAST: Madeleine Thomsen (Woy Woy), Lorna Martin (Ourimbah), Angela Marando (Hornsby), Samara Fulcher (Terrigal), Yasemin Lawson (Terrigal), Bronte Kirk-Clark (Terrigal), Elise Connolly (Terrigal), Danielle Theron (Warnervale), Megan Stokie (Woy Woy), Holly Johnstone (Woy Woy), Isabella Tisch-Lienert (Woy Woy), Aliyah Rodominski (Woy Woy)
  • WESTERN PLAINS: Madeline Bretag, Stella McHughes, Kayla Hassan, Sophie Currey, Vivien Warweg, Erin Rush, Alahna Ryan, Christie Chapman, Laura Gordon, Ella Meldrum, Steph Lennon, Jemma Kennedy
  • NEW ENGLAND: Isabelle Fuelling (St Albert’s College), Claudia Mitchell (St Albert’s College), Courtney-Grace Rook (Barbarians), Bernadette Lai (Barbarians), Kylie Frost (Barbarians), Natalie Devine (Robb College), Piper-Rae Wagstaff (Barbarians), Sarah Parkes (St Albert’s College), Savannah Dimmock (Robb College), Teagan Miller (Robb College), Tenayah-Lee Woodward (Robb College), Danielle Sutton (Barbarians)

DRAW

Saturday, April 28

Pool A: Central West v Western Plains (field 2, 10am kick-off), Central North v Central Coast (field 2, 10.20am kick-off), Central West v Central Coast (field 2, 11.20am kick-off), Central North v Western Plains (field 2, 11.40am kick-off), Central West v Central North (field 2, 1pm kick-off), Central Coast v Western Plains (field 2, 1.20pm kick-off)

Pool B: Mid North Coast v New England (field 2, 10.40am kick-off), Hunter v New England (field 2, 12pm kick-off), Hunter v Mid North Coast (field 2, 1.20pm kick-off)

Sunday, April 29

Finals: Times, fields TBC