Home > Rugby League, Rugby League News > Vital NSW spots up for grabs in Country vs City battle

Vital NSW spots up for grabs in Country vs City battle

Whilst many people have been calling for the end of the annual Country vs City Origin match, this year more than any other proves the true worth of the match.

With NSW desperate to end the dominance of Queensland in Origin, the Country vs City match acts as a vital trial for the side, with plenty of spots up for grabs and NSW Origin Coach Ricky Stuart has put all of the players on notice about this.

Whilst the Queensland team for Origin this year is expected to be quite settled, spots in the NSW line-up are well and truly open.

Stuart, who coached Country to victory back in 2004, knows the importance of the battle having played for Country himself, and hopes that the occasion will bring the best out of the players.

”There’s so many positions open,” he said.

”A lot of players are going to have their chance with the City-Country, and a lot of players should see it as a real opportunity to make that next step.”

“We have a number of positions that players will be playing directly against each other for a jersey. This game is a real trial.”

“I’ve got communication with both sets of selectors and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a City-Country fixture as important in relation to NSW selection.”

Gold Coast Titans forward Anthony Laffranchi, who will miss this year’s clash with an ankle injury, agrees with Stuart, saying he is devastated to be missing this year’s clash.

“Its really disappointing to miss out this year,” Laffranchi said.

“It is a great week, obviously mixing with some great players and being under coaches like Laurie Daley and Craig Bellamy you learn a lot.”

“There’s also the stuff off the field, mixing with the community and promoting the game in regional areas, so both on and off the field you get a heap out of the week.”

“I’m obviously devastated to miss out this year, but it’s always a thrill to get picked, so you always want to give yourself a chance of playing in big games like this. I’ll keep putting in each week at club level, and hopefully it will come around again in the near future.”

Laffranchi, who himself used the Country vs City Origin as a stepping stone to both NSW and Australian selection, said he knows the importance of the match, and believes this year will be as important as any to decide the NSW team.

“Its not only good as spectacle but it’s a chance to test players out in representative conditions,” he said.

“There are lots of players thrown in the deep end, and if they stand up they can really put themselves in line for an Origin spot.”

“It has always been a big event and a trial for Origin.”

“This year is obviously an important one with the changes to the coaches and the structures, but it has always been a big game.”

To ensure that you don’t miss out on seeing NSW’s superstars strut their stuff in this year’s Country vs City clash, get your tickets for the game through Ticketek on 132 849, at Ticketek outlets or online at http://www.ticketek.com.au.

The match acts as the centrepiece of a big celebration of rugby league in Albury, so make sure you grab your tickets early and get set for Country Rugby League’s biggest week.

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