Cessnock trio Reed Hugo, Sam Apthorpe and Robert Tuliatu will be thick of the action as the Newcastle Rebels take on North Coast in round two of the CRL Country Championships at Cessnock Sportsground on Saturday.
The Rebels Ladies League Tag also meet North Coast on of a huge day of league at Cessnock.
The women, who advanced to round two after defeating Northern River 36-4, kick off at 11.05am.
The under-23s, who accounted for Northern Rivers 34-14, start at 12.10pm to be followed by the Cessnock Goannas and Macquarie Scorpions, under-19, reserve and first grade games.
Hugo, Apthorpe and Tuliatu retained their spots on the bench for the Rebels and are joined by Maitland Pickers hooker Jarrod Smith and Lincoln Smith who will start in the front row.
The Goannas will miss the strike power of their young trio as they take on Macquarie, who will be at full strength with no representative players.
Maitland Pickers’ Emma Martin is the only Coalfields player in the Rebels LLT team.
Under 23: Newcastle Rebels 34 (R Fepuleai 2, J Ghoulmieh, W Alatini, L Higgins, C Randall tries; K Kennedy 5 goals) def. NRRRL 14
Ladies League Tag: Newcastle Rebels 36 (G Gallagher 2, R Cipata 2, E Coppins, A Jones, J Glanville, S Higgins tries; A Jones 2 goals) def. NRRRL 4
Saturday’s games: Cessnock LLT 11am; Rebels LLT 11.05am; Rebels U23 12.10pm; Cessnock U19 1.50pm, Cessnock Reserve Grade 3.05pm; Cessnock First Grade 4.35pm