Three Country Bulls representatives will lead Group Nine’s charge for the Kelly Cup.
Coach James Smart has named a strong squad for the traditional clash with Group 20 next week.
Southcity five-eighth Nathan Rose, Young front rower Aaron Slater and Albury lock Dave Cowhan all played for the Country Bulls last season.
They will be the leaders of the young squad.
With the Country Championships changing to an under 23 format, Group Nine and Group 20 have followed suit and brought in the age restriction.
It’s all but ended senior level representative football but Group Nine president Jack Morton believes it will be a good step forward.
“I think the under 23s is a good concept,” Morton said.
“I think it will be great.
“The first year will be a bit different but once you get used to it and more kids coming through it will be good.”
He wasn't convinced older players were too willing to continually put their hands up to play.
“Some of the older players were just sick of playing,” Morton said.
He is happy with the squad named on Monday.
Morton believes Riverina coach Josh Cale, who is also in charge of Country this season, will have plenty of strong talent to choose from following the game.
Eight of the 11 Group Nine clubs are represented in the squad.
Kangaroos have the strongest influence with four players, Tristan Dickson, Hayden Jolliffe, Troy Barby and Zac Graham, selected to play.
Gundagai and Southcity both have three players named in the 17-strong squad while Young and Temora have two each.
Only Tumut, Tumbarumba and Cootamundra are not represented.
Group 20’s 20-man squad was named last week.
Just as last season the Kelly Cup fixtures will be played at E W Moore Oval in Griffith.
The under 23s will be the feature of the day following clashes in under 16, under 18 and leaguetag on April 22.
A full round of Group Nine will play the following day.
Smart has organised the first under 23s training run with be on Wednesday at 7pm.
A venue is still being determined.
GROUP NINE SQUAD: Ed Ansell (Brothers), Jordyn Ballard (Temora), Troy Barby (Kangaroos), Mitch Bennett (Southcity), Dylan Cole (Gundagai), Dave Cowhan (Albury), Tristan Dickson (Kangaroos), Tyron Gorman (Gundagai), Zac Graham (Kangaroos), Matt Henery (Gundagai), Hayden Jolliffe (Kangaroos), Hayden Philip (Temora), Nathan Rose (Southcity), Trent Schubach (Junee), Jordan Shepherd (Southcity), Aaron Slater (Young), Ray Talimalie (Young)
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