IF SUNDAY is anything to go, by Mid-North Coast rugby union is in good stead.
As many as 58 players from the Tea Gardens out to Gloucester and as far north as Coffs Harbour turned up to train for the MNC rugby union representative squad at Stuart Park.
It was the first training session run by coach Gary Munday.
Joining him was Mark Giacheri. Giacheri is a former Italy and NSW Waratah forward.
These days he’s the NSW Country coach. He said it was great to see so many turn up but said he would have a hard time cutting the squad back to eventually form the team.
Port Macquarie was well represented too. The coach said about 15 players from the Port Macquarie Pirates ranks turned up along with about 10 from the Hastings Valley Vikings.
“It’s a great sign for rugby and it’s very good for the region for players to have the ambition to play with some of the best players in the area,” he said. “It’s going to be a headache to have to sort a team out from so many but it’s a fantastic headache to have.”
Munday said he was impressed by the training session held in the heat of Sunday. The want-to-be representatives toiled it out for three hours in an extended training session.
Munday said the participants would train again on Sunday, January 13 and every Sunday from then on until the team’s first trial in February against the Central Coast. That match will take place in Gosford.
He had big wraps on his squad but said it was important they kept focused.
“They certainly have the ability and technique but the telling thing will be if they have the commitment needed and to keep turning up to training,” he said. “It’s like anything: if you want to win you have to do the hard yards.
“It’s about making the commitment and giving yourself the best opportunity to win."