LAST weekend the Group 10 under 16s faced international rivals when competing at the Harmony Cup in Sydney and this Saturday they will again be tested by those representing another nation.
The difference this time around is that Group 10 will be on home soil at Bathurst's Carrington Park.
The Kurt Hancock coached representative side will take on a Federation of Italia Rugby League (FIRLA) 16sB team in a big day for the code.
In a great show of Bathurst’s rising rugby league talent eight of the city’s players will be a part of the Group 10 side.
A St Pat’s quintet of Tye Siakisoni, Connor Naylor, Nik Booth, Max Campbell and Bailey Akroyd will all be a part of the starting 13.
Siakisoni is joined by the Blayney Bears’ Brad Baker in the centres while Connor Naylor has the halfback role playing alongside another Bears player in the halves, Nick Tillburg.
Booth gets the gig at hooker with Campbell and Akroyd playing at second row and lock respectively.
Rylee Lew and Zac Ashcroft will continue the Saints’ involvement from the bench while Bathurst Panthers also gain representation in the side thanks to Cooper McDaid on interchange.
Hancock's 16s will be in action in the first of four games, with the under 16, under 21 and first grade Westerm Rams to take on FIRLA outfits as well.
At the Harmony Cup the Group 10 side played three 20-minute matches in a shortened format. Its best result was a 6-all draw with the Mediterranean side.
But this Saturday's match will be over 60 minutes and that will give Hancock's players more time to settle.
He is anticipating a close contest.
"I saw their [FIRLA] under 16s side play at the Harmony Cup and they are a pretty big, mobile side," he said.
"I think it will be a good contest for the boys.
"It should be a good day overall, I think all the games will be good contest, although the first grade side may do it a bit tough.
"I know their first grade side is rumoured to be pretty strong because they have got World Cup qualifiers coming up pretty soon. I am not sure if they will have their NRL players or not, but the should have some good players from the Queensland Cup and NSW Cup under 20s competitions."
The Group 10 under 16s will be in action from 11.30am on Saturday at Carrington Park.