It’ll be a spectacle to behold when the Riverina’s finest NRL players test their mettle against the mighty South Sydney Rabbitohs at the pre-season trial in Albury on February 16.
The creme of the crop were chosen for the Riverina representative team, with three players from Griffith stepping up to make the region proud.
One of them is Griffith Black and White star player Andrew Lavaka, who is counting down the days before he gets to face off against the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
“I’m really excited for the game next week; it’s a great opportunity for the region and it doesn’t come around often,” Lavaka said.
For some of the players on the team it’ll be their first time squaring off against professional players.
He’s steeling himself for a brutal game against some truly seasoned NRL players, but he said he’s looking forward to the challenge with the rest of his team.
There are many familiar faces in this year’s lineup, with most of the players picked for this year’s representative team coming back after playing in the same team two years ago.
One of them is Griffith Waratah’s player Kose Lelei, who has demonstrated consistently strong play since he was chosen for the representative team two years ago.
“It’s the same bunch of boys and most of us have played together, which is a great thing,” Lelei said.
“We’re up to the challenge, and it should be a good game.”
Griffith Waratah player Graham Levu was also chosen to step up to the challenge after he displayed some truly impressive plays in the last season.
On Saturday the boys will be getting together for some team bonding before heading off to Albury in the following week.
Rabbitohs coach Wayne Bennett said he had plans to host more NRL trial matches in regional areas.
“Some greats have come from those areas so we have to continue to make sure that we give something back,” Bennett said.
“It’s a great thing for our players as well to go out to those places and play, and it’s a great experience.”
On the Riverina side eleven clubs are represented with Group Nine premiers Gundagai providing the most with five while Southcity has four.
The Riverina Representative team will face the Rabbitohs on February 16.
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