Keep it simple, boys: McDonald’s plan for Rams’ next gen

Western Rams under 20s coach Paul McDonald is hoping a simple game plan ahead of Saturday’s clash with Federation of Italia Rugby League Australia will prove very effective.

ONE TO WATCH: Western's Ethan McKellar enjoyed a bumper year with Hawks in 2017 and will be pushing for a Rams spot in 2018. Photo: WESTERN RAMS

ONE TO WATCH: Western's Ethan McKellar enjoyed a bumper year with Hawks in 2017 and will be pushing for a Rams spot in 2018. Photo: WESTERN RAMS

A limited preparation has left McDonald no choice but to draw from the minimalist chapter of his hefty coaching manual, but he’s confident the watered-down game plan will help a stack of his best players shine in front of Western selectors.

A host of McDonald’s under 20s will be in the frame to make the Rams’ under 23s squad in 2018.

“What we’re hoping for is for these young fellas to take what they’ve got from first grade during the season and then use it in 23s next year,” McDonald said.

“Games like these, the players have personal goals and aspirations. We’ve mentioned the game’s not about winning or losing but about putting your best foot forward.”

McDonald is keen to see how Group 11 duo Joey Dwyer (Parkes) and Mitch Burke (Forbes) fare in the halves, the latter named to captain the Rams under 20s.

“We had a run last Sunday and we had a good session, simple game plan, structure,” he added.

The Bathurst-based mentor, who has been involved in Western’s juniors in the past, said a couple of big names have also impressed in the lead-up.

“Ethan McKellar looked like he would be a tough hard runner. We’ve got him at prop (on Saturday),” he added.

“And definitely Brett Howard from Nyngan. He looks like he’s put on some size and he’s a good communicator. He’ll be important for us.”