Locals in Rams’ line-up

Two Forbes players have scored Western Rams berths to face the Federation of Italia Rugby League this Saturday.

Magpies player Mitch Burke will run on with the Western Rams under 21s on Saturday as they meet the Federation of Italia at Bathurst.

Magpies player Mitch Burke will run on with the Western Rams under 21s on Saturday as they meet the Federation of Italia at Bathurst.

Mitch Burke will run on with the under 21s, while as published on Tuesday Ben Maguire will play with the senior side. 

Under 21s coach Kurt Hancock wants to see pride and passion from his side.

The match is one of four representative fixtures that will be contested at Carrington Park and Hancock says his men are ready.

“The guys trained really well on Sunday.

“I was not sure what I would get given the season is done and dusted, I thought they may find it hard to get up,” Hancock said.

“But they won’t have any problems getting up for this, all the guys are pretty tight from when they played a few games earlier this season.

“We are really hungry. We had a tough draw at the start of the year against the Cabramatta and St George under 20s.”

Hancock sees the under 21s as the future of Western Division and believes they will play a key role in the opens team’s bid to return to the top tier of the annual Senior Country Championships competition.

“These guys, they are building into the sort of rep players that you will want to see in your top rep side in the future,” Hancock said.

“We want to put that pride into the jersey every time they pull it on. If you have that passion and pride, everyone is going to put their hand up to play the rep stuff.”

Hancock’s side for Saturday’s game is a strong one with Forbes five-eighth Mitch Burke expected to have a big impact alongside his halves partner Ryan Griffin (Orange CYMS).

Having played out of position in the halves for the Rams earlier this season, hooker Hudson White (St Pat’s) and second rower Zac Adams (Mudgee) will return to their regular roles and strengthen the forward pack.

St Pat’s players Nick Millar, Mitch Squires and Jack Mackey have also been named in the squad.

“Mitch Burke, he is going to be a big addition.

“He is a class act and I think he is going to make a massive difference,” Hancock said.

“The Italians are a bit of an unknown for our guys. Originally they had a couple of under 20s players from a few Sydney clubs, but I think they are now trialling with the firsts.”

Senior side coach Darren Jackson picked a new look team, including Magpies’ Maguire, after a training run at Manildra last Sunday.

“It was as good (a session) as I expected it was going to be. It was really crisp for a one-off,” he said. 

“I pulled the group together at the start and congratulated them all for being there.

“I pretty much said to them that if they go back to their clubs and start the year in-form, then these are the guys we’re going to be looking at picking again.”

The under 21s game kicks off at 2pm at Bathurst’s Carrington Park, first grade at 3.50pm.

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