Cooma secures NSW Country Championship

AFTER missing out on hosting next year's City v Country rugby league match, Cooma has had a major win securing games in the 2013 Senior NSW Country Championships.

Eight teams from across NSW will play at the Cooma Showground on June 1 next year in the first round of the Championships.

More than 200 players and officials will travel to Cooma for the event which is expected to attract a big crowd of a few thousand spectators.

While it may not be the Country v City match Cooma had put in a bid to host earlier this year, Cooma mayor Dean Lynch said it would be a great event for rugby league in south east NSW and the town.

"It's all about lifting the profile of rugby league in south east NSW," he said.

"I'm really excited about it."

Cr Lynch, who is also vice president of Group 16 rugby league and the Cooma Stallions and on the committe of Country Rugby League (CRL) expects a crowd of few thousand spectators.

"I think it will generate a reasonable amount of interest," he said.

"It's not going to draw the crowd a City vs Country game would but it would attract rugby league fans throughout the south east.

"It's about bringing high grade football to south east NSW which we haven't had for a few years."

The teams in the Championships are divided into two tiers.

In tier one, Cooma will host the match between Canberra and Illawarra with Central Coast up against the Western Rams.

Local players are likely to be in the mix as Group 16 take to the field against Group 9 in a tier two game.

Group 6 will face Group 20 in the other tier two match.

Cr Lynch said the Cooma Visitor's Centre would coordinate with CRL for accommodation for players and council would ensure the grounds were up to standard for the game.

Cooma Stallions Rugby League Club president Craig Schofield said it would be good for rugby league in the town.

"It is a good outcome after losing out on the City v Country game," he said.

"It will be great not only for Cooma, but the district."

He said the showground was well equipped to host the event with all the facilities as well as the new scoreboard and goal posts.

2013 is looking positive for the Stallions who are currently in negotiations with two players from England.

All coaches have now been secured for the teams.

Schofield said training would commence early next year.

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