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NSW Junior Reps

Raiders Junior Rep Round One Preview

Canberra Raiders 2021 SG Ball Cup Champions (Photo : Bryden Sharp
Canberra Raiders 2021 SG Ball Cup Champions (Photo : Bryden Sharp

Raiders Junior Rep Round One Preview

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Raiders Junior Rep Round One Preview 2022

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The junior reps 2022 season kicks off this Saturday, with all three Canberra Raiders sides in action at Raiders Belconnen.

The Raiders SG Ball side will be looking to back up their wonderful season last year in which they won the competition.

Seven players from that side are now training with the Raiders NRL squad, including Xavier Savage, Trey Mooney, Caleb Esera and Clay Webb.

Raiders SG Ball coach Ash Barnes

Raiders SG Ball coach Ash Barnes says that winning competitions is great but having players pushing through the grades is far more important.

“Our number one goal is to develop players and see them go through the grades.

To have an NRL debutant in Xavier last year and Trey being 18th man a number of times was really pleasing to see,” Barnes said.

“To have more guys pushing in and training with the NRL squad just means that what we’re doing at the junior reps level has been beneficial for them and is working and it’s something we take great pride in.”

Starting fullback for this weekend, Jack Sandford is one of these players who has been training with the NRL squad.

Sandford joined the junior reps system last year in what was his first year of rugby league, and has already improved dramatically.

“He’s someone that really grew in his role throughout last year and was our starting fullback in the grand final last year, scored the try that sealed the premiership.

So for him to get an opportunity to train in NRL is just fantastic,” Barnes said.

“The confidence he has gained training with the elite players and our NRL squad is only going to be really beneficial for his game.”

The Raiders take on a strong Sea Eagles outfit on Saturday, with the Raiders defeating the side in last year’s SG Ball semi-final.

“That semi final was one of the best games of S.G. Ball that I’ve seen,” Barnes said.

“The Sea Eagles also went through undefeated in Harold Matts last year, with a number of those guys graduating up into SG Ball this year so I’m really expecting a tough competition.

Raiders Harold Matthews Cup Rnd 1 Draw

Raiders Tarsha Gale Cup Rnd 1 Draw

Raiders SG Ball Cup Rnd 1 Draw

“I think it’s a great one to see the benchmark of where we are at at the moment.”

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