Follent fills the void in representative team
MARIST Brothers halfback Jacob Follent has been added to the Northern Rivers team for the semi-final clash in the NSW Country Rugby League Championships this weekend.
Follent will play fullback when the team takes on North Coast at Sawtell on Saturday.
He comes into the side after winger Willie Hammond was dropped after missing the first game against Greater Northern Tigers earlier this month.
Follent is only four games back in Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League and has played a handful of positions at the Rams.
He came back to the region this year after spending time in the Wests Tigers Under-20s system before playing at Balmain in Sydney.
"I spoke to him about playing fullback and he was keen to give it a crack,” Northern Rivers coach Max Beecher said. "He can come on and play like a second five-eighth anyway and his talk will help us in defence.
"Jacob has always been a good player and he gives us a few more options in attack.”
Beecher will be hoping for more of the same from his forward pack which paved the way for their first round win over the Tigers.
They have plenty of size in the front row with Caleb Ziebell and Nick Morrissey while Murwillumbah hooker Joe Besgrove was dynamic out of dummy half.
Ballina second-rower Anthony Colman leads the side well as captain while second-rower Kyle Kennedy is currently enjoying a purple patch of form.
The NSW Country Championships are played in an Under-23 format and a win here would see Northern Rivers play Illawarra or the Monaro Colts in the final.
"They're all good kids in this team and five or six of them could end up getting picked in the (NSW Country) team,” Beecher said.
"The best way to get there is to keep winning and get to the final.”
Fullback Jacob Follent; wingers Michael Dwane, Liam Anderson; centres Rhys Riches, Ben O'Gorman; five-eighth Sam Grant; halfback Tahne Robinson; props Caleb Ziebell, Nick Morrissey; hooker Joe Besgrove; second-row Anthony Colman, Jake Hoban; lock Kyle Kennedy. Bench Luke Campbell, Kalani Hensby, Lochie Perren, Hayden Pratt.