Group 11 five-eighth Alex Bonham is expecting to do plenty of work when his side meets Group 10 in Saturday’s Western Rams trial fixture at Jock Colley Field in Parkes.
Bonham is one of six Dubbo CYMS players to be selected in Col Wright’s 17-man squad for the first game played under the new under-23s format.
And while he admits it will be strange not having senior guys to call on for assistance, he expects prior experience against the Group 10 players to help.
“It is a bit weird thinking that we are now the senior Group 11 squad, but it’s exciting as well and we’re only one good game away from getting a spot in the Western team for Country Championships,” Bonham said.
“We’ve grown up playing against these guys through the juniors, and because of that I know they have a big side and we can expect things to be pretty tough through the middle of the field.
“They will try and overpower us, but in saying that we have a lot of mobility so that will play into our favour.
“They have also had a couple of rounds of their competition, where we haven’t, but I’d say once we get going and get into the match we’ll actually be a bit fitter than we think we are.”
The 22-year-old played for Group 11 and Western Division in the under-18s, and has established himself as an important cog in Tim Ryan’s Fishies side in recent seasons.
But having grown up playing hooker, he says he’s comfortable wearing the number six jersey now.
“We’ve got ‘Jenko’ (Luke Jenkins) and Hamish (Astill) that can play hooker, so Tim moved me to five-eighth and that’s what I am now,” he said.
“Col has picked me to play five-eighth so I obviously am doing the job there and I’ll keep working on getting better in that position.”
- GROUP 11: 1 Sam Dwyer (Parkes), 2 Hayden Howell (Dubbo CYMS), 3 Jarrad Tyack (Forbes), 4 Jesse Wighton (Forbes), 5 Pat Murphy (Forbes), 6 Alex Bonham (Dubbo CYMS), 7 Chad Porter (Parkes), 8 Lee Price (Dubbo CYMS), 9 Hamish Astill (Dubbo CYMS), 10 Lincoln Kavanagh (Dubbo CYMS), 11 Ben Maguire (Forbes), 12 Luke Gale (Macquarie), 13 Fletcher Strong (Parkes); 14 Clayton Couley (Nyngan), 15 Wade Kavanagh (Dubbo CYMS), 16 John Ciappara (Macquarie), 17 Mitch Bourke (Forbes).