Former Alstonville union player selected for PNG league team

FORMER Wollongbar- Alstonville rugby union player Josh Damen has been selected to play rugby league in the centres for Papua New Guinea.

Damen, who grew up in Alstonville, is one of three Northern Rivers players who will be involved in representative rugby league games this weekend.

It is the first time he has been picked in the national squad with the team to play Fiji in the Pacific Test at Cbus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast on Saturday night.

He will get to rub shoulders with rugby league legend Mal Meninga who is coaching the PNG side.

AT RIGHT: Josh Damen playing for Wollongbar- Alstonville in FNC Rugby Union. He will play for Papua New Guinea against Fiji this weekend.
AT RIGHT: Josh Damen playing for Wollongbar- Alstonville in FNC Rugby Union. He will play for Papua New Guinea against Fiji this weekend. Marc Stapelberg

Damen only started playing rugby league in 2011, when he moved to Brisbane.

He currently plays with Souths Logan Magpies in the Intrust Super Cup.

Most of the players selected for PNG are from the NSW and Queensland Cup along with Ray Thompson who has played plenty of NRL with the North Queensland Cowboys.

Fiji will be tough with most of the side having already played NRL.

David Mead has been selected as fullback for a second consecutive year for NSW Country.

He was a standout on debut last year when he bagged a try-scoring double in Dubbo.

Mead played for Marist Brothers in Lismore as a teenager and is currently with the Gold Coast Titans.

Ballina junior and Newcastle Knights halfback Tyrone Roberts played last year but has not been selected this time.

Another Ballina junior, Mitchell Aubusson, was unlucky not to be named.

He has been a standout at second row for the Sydney Roosters this season.

Elsewhere, Kyogle product Will Matthews has been selected in the NSW Cup representative team.

They will play the Queensland Residents team in the annual interstate clash at the Gold Coast on Sunday.

Matthews has been a big part of the St George Illawarra Dragons six-game winning streak in the NRL.

He picked up player of the match honours in his first NRL game this season against the Brisbane Broncos.

NRRRL RESULTS

Scores from the weekend:

  • Evans Head 28 d Casino 22
  • Kyogle 18 d Mullumbimby 16
  • Byron Bay 26 d Marist Brothers 24
  • Ballina 16 d Cudgen 4
  • Northern United 10 drew Murwillumbah 10

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