THREE Cricket Albury-Wodonga players have been named in the Riverina team to contest the NSW Southern Country Championships at Orange next month.
East Albury’s James McNeil, Lavington’s Ryan Brown and North Albury’s Ash Borella will battle it out against Western Zone, Illawarra and South Coast with coach Ranji Oliver eager to build on last year’s one victory.
Henty’s Grant Forrest, who joined South Wagga this season, has also been selected.
“I’m very happy with the side,” Oliver said yesterday.
“I think our batting is stronger than last year. We have topped it up and our fielding looks better as well.
“We were competitive in two of our three games last year and, although we will be the absolute underdogs, we aren’t going to fill in the numbers.
“We are going to win.”
McNeil will play the opening match against Western Zone on Friday, November 15, but his availability remains uncertain from that point due to a family wedding.
Selectors are keen for him to play as much possible to enhance his chances of winning selection in the NSW Country side.
Borella won a spot in the Riverina side after being the leading runscorer in CAW last season while emerging quick Brown is rated highly.
Liam Scammell and Brendan Klein-Boonschate represented Riverina last year.
“There is nothing easy about the competition,” Oliver said.
“Western Zone won last year, Illawarra is always strong and South Coast will be tough as well.”
The Riverina team is: Shawn Downie (c) (Cobram), Brett Davies (vc) (West Wyalong), Joel Robinson (vc) (South Wagga), James McNeil (East Albury), Luke Carter (Strathmerton), Grant Forrest (South Wagga), Ash Borella (North Albury), Will Silver (Wagga RSL), Ryan Brown (Lavington), Brenton Loudon (Deniliquin), Josh Thompson (Wagga City), Liam Evans (Nathalia), Ben Webster (Kooringal Colts).