COOTAMUNDRA coach Mark Elia isn’t banking on Albury Thunder being leg weary in Sunday’s clash despite six players doubling up from representative duties.
Ben Jeffery, Willie Heta, Lou Goodwin, Mitch Davis, Andrew Cowhan and Cameron Breust have been chosen in the 18-member Group 9 squad to play Group 20 in Wagga tomorrow before taking on the Bulldogs next day.
“I just hope Daniel Fitzhenry (coach) plays those boys for as long as possible,” Elia joked.
“I reckon they should play the full 80 minutes.
“I don’t think that will happen though as they have named a big squad and they are obviously all very fit players.
“We have a couple of players in the pack as well in Luke Berkrey and Grant Boyd and hopefully both sides get through without any injuries for Sunday at Greenfield Park.”
Temora coach Michael Henderson is the only automatic selection to rule himself unavailable for the representative clash.
Cootamundra winger Siria Pera has succumbed to injury since being named in the original squad.
Group 20 star and former Canberra Raiders player David Milne is a late scratching with an ankle injury.
Jeffery said he expected a much tighter clash than last year when Group 9 won by 50 points.
“It will be a lot closer this time,” Jeffery said.
“I think Group 20 will be stronger — we have a good side though.
“Everyone is looking forward to it.”
Group 9 dominated in the forwards last year and Davis, Goodwin, Boyd and Nick Skinner are again expected to lead the assault up the middle against their smaller opponents.