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By ARU Media Unit
The interstate rivalry of the BMW Junior Gold Cup will continue in Sydney this weekend when the NSW U17s and U15s take on their counter parts from Queensland in a state of origin style clash.
Having concluded the BMW Junior Gold Cup last week, the matches give an opportunity for players in NSW and Queensland to represent their states.
Connell Byrne the NSW U17s Head Coach has had a short period of time to morph together the best players from across the state into one unit.
“We had a good camp on the weekend; of our 23 guys we have ended up with six country boys in there and the rest are made up of Rays and Rams players.
“They (the Rams) had a very strong front row and they had a very good second rower.
“The Rays had extraordinarily good locks and backrow. The combination of two of them together means we have a lot of size up front and we have the mobility as well.
“It’s a marriage of two good worlds so to speak.”
The NSW U17s side has been given the extra insights of three time World Cup representative, Margaret Watson who as a Wallaroo stalwart, has been passing on her insights to the next generation of Rugby hopefuls.
“Margaret brought some really good ideas and she really knows what she is talking about,” Byrne said to ARU Media.
“The boys have related to her really well and coming from the Hunter she had some good insight into the country boys but the rest of the boys took to her very well.
“She’s very matter of fact and as she’s been there before they had amazing respect for her.”
With the BMW Junior Gold Cup being the beginning of the Pathway to Gold program, some players have started their representative Rugby journey.
“They’re all aspirational these boys and have got their sights down the track. We’re trying to build some resilience in them so when they do get a disappointment they can bounce back.
“Margaret was a really good example of that. She was able to talk to them about how if you want to get there you have to keep working at it and you don’t necessarily get there first go.
With matches being played at Cranbrook Grammar College Sydney, people are encouraged to come down and see some of the best young talent in the 2016 Junior Gold Cup.
“I was fortunate enough to coach the side last year at Ballymore where we won in the U17s so I’d like to think that we can do that again at home.”
The matches kick off with the U15s match at 2.30pm at Cranbrook Grammar School, Sydney.