Group 16 kicks off 2014 season

THE Group 16 rugby league competition kicks off this weekend with the inaugural Nines tournament hosted by the Group's newest club, Bemboka.

The Cooma Stallions first game on Sunday will be against Bemboka and will get underway at 10.50am with two more games against Bega at 11.40am and Eden at 12.30pm.

The competition is divided into two pools with the Stallions in Pool 1.

After the rounds the top two teams in each pool will play off in the semi-finals with the Grand Final to be played at 4.15pm.

"The Stallions will be taking a squad of 20 players and look to have a good mixture of youth and experience. A number of last year's under 18s have graduated into the senior grades and the Nines will give them their initial taste of first grade," club president Craig Schofield said.

"The Stallions will be looking to the experience of Todd Williams and Coach Steve Dunn to steer a young side around the paddock and hopefully start the year of with success in the inaugural Nines tournament.

"Players to look out for will be Zane Weston, Todd Williams, Jake Schofield and Steve Dunn."

Service One will be a major sponsor for the tournament meaning clubs will be competing for prize money as well as prestige.

Selection for the Group's representative sides will also begin at the Nines tournament.

"All players need to show their best," group president Dean Lynch said.

At the recent Group 16 general meeting plans were laid for the 2014 Competition including the appointment of coaches for the new look representative format which includes the Indigenous Allstars vs the Group 16 Allstars and the North vs South Ladies League Tag games to be held in Moruya on April 13.

The under 18 Group side will play on April 25 and 26 against Group 6 and 7 for selections into the Southern Stingrays.

Corey Stewart will coach the Indigenous Allstars, Cooma's Steve Dunn will coach the Group 16 Allstars, Leaguetag coaches are Craig Schofield and Andrew Badullovich and Jason Kelly will coach under 18s.

Mr Lynch said all coaches came with a wealth of experience from being former Group 16 rep players, current first grade coaches and former Sydney NRL grade players.

Group 16 has also welcomed the Bega Grand Hotel as the major sponsor for the pre-season competition.

"Having the Grand Hotel as a pre-season sponsor will mean that the Bega Roosters will be offering over $2,000 in prize money at the pre-season Final in Bega on April 6," Bega Roosters president Gary Arkin said.

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