Clarence Kelly back on Northern Rivers representative team
BALLINA centre Clarence Kelly has been recalled to the Northern Rivers representative rugby league team after missing out on selection last year.
Kelly finished the 2013 season on a high, winning a premiership with the Seagulls.
He represented NSW Country in 2009 and Northern Rivers coach Scott Sattler is backing him to perform at representative level this year.
"Clarence is an exceptional athlete," Sattler said. "I've always found that he is a player that you want to have in your side.
"Myself and the assistant coaches are all familiar with him and we're excited about his involvement."
The team has started its preparation early this year ahead of the NSW Country Championships in May. An initial squad of 26 has already been picked with the team to run an opposed training session against the Gold Coast Titans Under-20s at Kingsford Smith Park on Saturday.
New players such as Michael Thomas, Brett Kelly and Kane Montgomery have been added to the mix along with veteran Damian Quinn
"We've picked a squad early to build on the great preparation we had last year," Sattler said.
"A lot of players stood out at the back end of the (2013) season and have been rewarded for that.
"We look forward to the session with the Titans and the boys should get a lot out of it."
Sattler believes his side will be strong, despite the loss of Grafton players to the Group 2 competition and a couple more to Queensland Cup.
There is a proposed trip to Fiji for the team at the end of the season.
"That's a bit of an incentive but not our focus right now," Sattler said.
"It will be a nice reward at the end and it might help bring some players (from Fiji) back over to the NRRRL."
The team will play Riverina in the first round of the Country Championships on May 31 in Singleton.