Wellington's Brock Naden to play for Western against Dubbo CYMS

TIME TO RISE: Brock Naden feels the Western Rams' attack is primed to fire this weekend. Photo: AMY McINTYRE
TIME TO RISE: Brock Naden feels the Western Rams' attack is primed to fire this weekend. Photo: AMY McINTYRE

Each of the Western Rams know a win is needed heading into the third round of the Presidents Cup but Brock Naden has a little more motivation than most.

Naden will line up on the wing again for the Rams on Saturday in the derby clash with Dubbo CYMS.

It will mark the first time Naden has played at Apex Oval since helping the Wellington Cowboys down the Fishies in last season's Group 11 grand final.

"I'm keen for it. There's a bit of a rivalry being from Wello," he said.

"But I know it will be a tough game and they're going to have a couple of players back."

Naden lined up in the centres that day as the Cowboys downed the Fishies 19-6 to end a 25-year premiership drought.

The CYMS side on Saturday will be vastly different to the one which featured on grand final day and it's likely to be different to the one which lost to Maitland last weekend, with Tony Pellow set to return from injury.

There's also a number of changes to the Rams team and Naden hopes it's what can kick-start his side's cup campaign.

After only scoring one try in the opening round loss to the Hills Bulls the Rams were kept scoreless against the Western Suburns Devils in Wollongong last week.

Coach Cameron Greenhalgh has opted to shake things up, with Lachie Munro to start at fullback while his Orange CYMS teammate Ryan Griffen joins the bench along with Bathurst Panthers youngsters Brad Fearnley and Nathan Ward.

Regular fullback Jesse Wighton slots into the centres alongside Forbes' Mitch Andrews.

"I reckon it will add some spark," Naden said.

"The attack has all been a bit flat but hopefully they bring something and give a bit of energy."

The attack has all been a bit flat.

Brock Naden

Much like his side's overall performances, Naden admits his own performances haven't been up to scratch just yet.

As is the case with all Western Rams sides, the Presidents Cup outfit hasn't been able to train regularly because of the huge area the players are drawn from.

That, combined with the disrupted build-up due to COVID-19, has had an impact on all sides but it's still been a welcome return to the field.

"I'm loving it," Naden said of playing for Western again.

"But my performances are not there just yet."

And there's no one better to get the players and team a whole firing than experienced representative coach Greenhalgh, according to Naden.

"He's one of the best coaches I've played under," Naden said.

"He works really hard but can have a laugh as well."

Like the Rams, CYMS heads into this weekend having failed to score a win in the opening two rounds.

Kick-off is 2pm.