BATHURST Bulldogs will have a presence across the men's, women's and colts NSW Rugby Union Country training squads following Central West's impressive performances at the recent Country Championships at Tamworth.
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Central West almost completed the clean sweep against the state's best, with the women's and colts teams coming home with the title while the men's side were just one win short of claiming a third straight Caldwell Cup.
Bulldogs players Peter Fitzsimmons, Joe Nash, Justin Mobbs (men's), Mel Waterford, Teagan Miller, Jacinta Windsor (women's) and Bailey Warren (colts) all made strong impressions during their respective campaigns and will now have the chance to make the final NSW Country teams.
The Bulldogs men's and women's representatives will attend a training day in August to try and earn a spot at the National Rugby Championships in Adelaide while Warren's campaign gets underway shortly with a training day in Sydney on July 2.
The final NSW Country Colts side then faces Queensland Country Colts on the Gold Coast from July 19 to 23.
Warren led from the front row at Central West's Tamworth undefeated campaign, spearheading the Central West's victories over Newcastle (16-12), Illawarra (24-0), Far North Coast (26-12) and Central Coast (10-0).
"It was great to play with that group and to captain the side. We had a young side. Some of our players were 16s and stepping up to play in an under 19s comp," Warren said.
"It was pretty daunting going in there because we were ranked last - since we didn't have a side in there last time - but we went in there and played out of our skin.
"First game we were out there and beat the number team, Hunter. We played to our strengths. They had some really good edge players but we held the ball through the middle and smashed them through the forwards."
The NSW Country Colts squad is, unsurprisingly, dominated by Central West selections, with Nick Barton (Dubbo Kangaroos), Will Brisbane, John Toberty (Orange Emus), James Nichols (Mudgee Wombats), Lachlan O'Malley (Dubbo Rhinos) and Tom Ray (West Wyalong) also selected.
Warren said it will be great to not only link back up with his Central West teammates but also players from other regions.
"Out of the 23 we brought up there we had seven make the country squad, and most of those were our older boys," he said.
"It's great to get so many selections in there. I also know a couple of the other boys in there, like a few from Far North and a couple of Hunter boys.
"I played country last year and it's good that a lot of those boys are back in the team."
Mobbs will be looking to make another appearance with the final NSW Country team after playing with the 2021 side.
Waterford and Windsor are also in with a chance of repeating their appearance in the final country side after doing so last year.
Bathurst is set to play a big role in the upcoming representative calendar, with all the junior NSW Rugby Union City v Country games taking place in the city on July 31.
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