Rugby club raring to go

Floods have forced the cancellation of another trial match for the Forbes Platypi, but the rugby club will still play its first pre-season game this Saturday.

The flooding of sporting grounds at Condobolin this week has forced the Rams to postpone the Brad Ridley Shield match until April 5, but the Platypi’s annual trial against the Temora Tuskers will go ahead as planned this Saturday.

Forbes will host the match at Grinsted Oval, which has been reopened after the flooding of Lake Forbes, kicking off at 4pm.

Forbes first grade coach Phil Prior said his squad is in good shape and were ready to play both matches, which had been planned for consecutive days.

He said the Platypi would be keen to get some match practice against Temora.

“Our schedule has been so disgruntled by the flood waters and so forth, we really need a couple of hit-outs,” Prior said this week.

The Platypi have been training under former co-coach Charlie Dwyer and Ash Hogan for more than a month and Prior said most of the players are in excellent shape.

“Ash and Charlie have been leading our pre-season training and we probably have one of the fittest squads we’ve had for as long as I can remember,” Prior said.

“The colts have plenty of numbers and the appointment of Jeff Stewart as colts coach is very positive for the club,” he said.

Stewart has played rugby in England in recent years and has returned to his home town to lead the Platypi under 19s side.

A recent knee reconstruction means he is unlikely to play much rugby this year, but Prior said his direction had already shown benefits.

Prior hopes the club can arrange a colts practice match before the Blowes Cup gets underway in mid April, but he said the wash-outs meant senior players would be given priority in any trials that do go ahead.

“The senior players will get priority simply because we haven’t actually had a run yet. The early season fitness is right up there with the last six or seven years, but we really need to get out there and hit the ground running,” he said.

The Platypi have retained most of their players from last year, apart from Murray Fraser and Chris Francis, and have gained Tim West and Jarrod Hall.

West has returned to his home town with his employment as a school teacher, while Jarrod Hall has switched to rugby after a couple of seasons with the local rugby league club.

Both would be “very handy acquisitions” Prior said.

Saturday’s game is expected to kick off about 4pm at Grinsted Oval.

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