United pair back for knockout
WILLIE Hammond and Chris Swan will return from injury when Northern United takes two teams to the Wests Knockout rugby league competition at Scully Park, Tamworth, this weekend.
The Dirawongs' first-grade side will play the North Tamworth Bears at 3.30pm, with the second-grade team to play Narrabri at 10.30am on Saturday.
"It's the first hit-out for me and I'm really looking forward to it," captain-coach Hammond said.
"We've never been to this competition before and we've been stressing at training that it's a big opportunity for blokes to stake a claim for a first-grade jersey."
The team in first division will take on six Group 4 first-grade teams, while second-grade will play 11 Group 4 teams.
The winner of first division will take home $4000, with $2000 up for grabs in second division.
Northern United has lost two of its best for the upcoming Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League season, with Brenton Cochrane and Fred Waters moving on.
"We've had over 50 at training and won both our trials, in Moree and Kempsey," Hammond said.
"Tim Green, Josh Benn, Tennyson Strong and Kane Davis are some of the young blokes coming through."