Manly Sea Eagles and NZ Warriors supporters will be in for a massive day of rugby league action at nib Stadium, Perth, on Saturday, July 16.
In the build up to the NRL clash at 3.30pm (WST time), there will be two great curtain raisers games featuring some of the best young rugby league talent from NSW and Western Australia in an exciting ‘East vs West’ contest.
11.30am: Gates Open
11.35am: Under 18s: NSW Country v Western Australia
1.15pm: NSW Country Bulls v Western Australia
3.30pm: NRL: Manly Sea Eagles v NZ Warriors
NSW Country U18's
The NSW Country U18s team represents the best young players from regional NSW. The team is comprised of the best players selected from the CRL U18 Country Championships.
The NSW Country U18's toured New Zealand in 2015, winning both of their matches against the Otahuhu Leopards and Auckland Vulcans U18's.
West Australia U18s
The West Australian U18s team represents the best players inside the school system in WA. Many of the players also represented WA in the NSW SG Ball competition for the Western Pirates side. Since their exposure to the SG Ball system the WA side has produced consistently better results and have even had some of their graduates go on to play in the NRL and 20s systems over the last few years. Curtis Rona and Waqa Blake to name a couple have used the Pirates system as a very successful springboard and the WA U18s boys will be up for a big game against their NSW Country U18s counterparts.
The WA U18s side have just come off a very successful Affiliated States tour, and will be headlined by Curtis Dasey-Smaller who was recently was named MVP of the Affiliated States Championships, and Christian Smith and William Finau, who along with Curtis were named in the Affiliated States side to compete at the National Secondary Schools Champtionships.
NSW Country Bulls
The Country Bulls are selected from the best Tier Two players in the CRL Country Championships each season.
This year’s Country Bulls representatives are drawn from the Riverina, Greater Southern, Greater Northern and Northern Rivers regions. The Country Bulls traditionally play their representative matches against developing Rugby League regions and last year defeated the Northern Territory Titans in Darwin.
The WA Men's side are a testament to strength of the competition in Western Australia. Firstly they have won the last 7 Affiliated States Championships in a row, and 13 out of the 15 since its inception, making WA the undisputed king of the so called "non-playing" states. With an ever changing roster of players every year, they have constantly shown why there is a huge push for an NRL side here in Perth.
The NSW Country Bulls last made the trek over to WA in 2013 with the WA boys victorious in a high quality game 36-30. A survivor from that game is the cheeky halfback/hooker James Aspden who will be looking to make it 2 from 2 against their eastern rivals. Look for Fullback Tyron Cranston, Prop Arlin Paki and Captain Delane Edwards to have a huge influence on the game. All 3 have had successful stints playing Queensland or NSW Cup and have brought the benefits of what they have learnt back to WA.