Carney, Grevsmuhl, Starling named in Western's side to play France at Parkes

Western coach Tim Ryan is confident the first senior Rams side named in four years is more than capable of seriously challenging France at the end of the month.

Ryan and his selectors have named a 25-strong squad brimming with NRL experience ahead of Western's clash with its international rivals on October 30 at Parkes.

Last season's Nyngan Tigers captain-coach Justin Carney and 2019 Oberon Tigers mentor Josh Starling have been included in Ryan's initial squad, which trained at Wellington two weeks ago.

While CYMS gun Chris Grevsmuhl is also named.

The trio of former NRL players headline what is a tremendously talented group, featuring three players from champion Group 11 club Wellington and four from back-to-back Group 10 premiers Bathurst Panthers.

Four Parkes guns have made the cut - Sam Dwyer, Brendan Tago, Jordan Pope and Chad Porter - while Mitch Burke and Ben Maguire from the Forbes Magpies have been named.

Former Spacemen, now Orange Hawk, Ethan McKellar has also been selected.

Ryan says his group of players have been afforded an incredible opportunity to play against an international opponent, the Les Chanticleers expected to play upwards of five players who regularly appear in the English Super League.

And the former Dubbo CYMS mentor is adamant Western's best will rise to the challenge.

"It's the first thing I mentioned to the boys at training; this is very prestigious, coming up against any national team is," Ryan said.

"It's exciting and a lot of the boys were just that when we got together but we're definitely not going over there to lose. We're hoping we can give them a good challenge."

A number of players were unavailable for selection - two-time Dave Scott Medal winner Brent Seager is injured, while Hawks pair Willie Heta and Rakai Tuheke are both playing in New Zealand - but that hasn't fazed Ryan.

READY TO GO: Western Rams coach Tim Ryan. Photo: NICK McGRATH

READY TO GO: Western Rams coach Tim Ryan. Photo: NICK McGRATH

He says the likes of Wellington star Will Lousick, the enigmatic Nyngan half Josh Merritt and livewire Spacies duo Chad Porter and Sam Dwyer will likely make up the bulk of a tantalising backline.

While powerhouse Panthers centre Blake Lawson was another player Ryan says he's looking forward to watching in the flesh.

"To be honest it'll be great to see all of them together," Ryan added.

I'd love to see this as a more permanent thing.

Rams coach Tim Ryan.

"We worked on getting to know each other at training and we had a trial against the Riverina (in West Wyalong on October 19) to work on a few things on-field.

"With a senior side not being together for a few years now we'll have to adapt quickly but I'm confident we can."

Having mentored the Rams' under 23s now for two seasons, Ryan said he jumped at the opportunity to coach Western's senior side and was hopeful more senior rep footy would follow in the future.

"I'd love to see this as a more permanent thing. We hit up Riverina for a game and they're putting a side together," he said.

The Rams tackle France from 7pm at Parkes on October 30.

  • WESTERN: Alex Ronanye (Dubbo CYMS), Billy Sing (Dubbo CYMS), Ben Marlin (Dubbo CYMS), Justin Carney (Nyngan Tigers), Josh Merritt (Nyngan Tigers), Sam Dwyer (Parkes Spacemen), Brendan Tago (Parkes Spacemen), Jordan Pope (Parkes Spacemen), Chad Porter (Parkes Spacemen), Mitch Burke (Forbes Magpies), Ben Maguire (Forbes Magpies), Will Lousick (Wellington Cowboys), Aidan Ryan (Wellington Cowboys), Casey Burgess (Mudgee Dragons), Josh Griffiths (Wellington Cowboys), Lachie Munro (Orange CYMS), Ryan Griffin (Orange CYMS), Ethan McKellar (Orange Hawks), Jed Betts (Bathurst Panthers), Jake Betts (Bathurst Panthers), Blake Lawson (Bathurst Panthers), Nick Loader (Bathurst Panthers), Jackson Brien (Oberon Tigers), Josh Starling (Oberon Tigers), Chris Grevsmuhl (Orange CYMS).
This story Nearly 300 games of top-flight experience named in Rams squad to tackle France first appeared on Cowra Guardian.