Oberon's Jackson Brien and Josh Starling in bumper Group 10 squad

TWO Oberon Tigers have got the nod, but it's the Bathurst Panthers who dominate the Group 10 side that will play in Forbes next Saturday.

Group 10 premiers Panthers have been rewarded following a tremendous start to their premiership defence with skipper Doug Hewitt named at halfback of the group side after guiding the men in black to a 5-1 start to 2019.

The premiership-winning half has retained his place in the competition's senior representative outfit following a starring role in Group 10's breakthrough 40-28 victory over Group 11 last season, while warhorse prop Brent Seager is another to maintain his spot in Graeme Osborne's starting side.

Blake Lawson, though, will make his run-on rep debut for Group 10 while backrowers Jack Siejka and Blake Seager will appear in the run on side and off the bench respectively.

BACK IN THE HOT SEAT: Group 10 coach Graeme Osborne.

BACK IN THE HOT SEAT: Group 10 coach Graeme Osborne.

Top four sides Mudgee, Orange Hawks and Oberon - who supply Jackson Brien and Josh Starling -make up the bulk of the rest of the squad.

Osborne said Panthers' start to 2019 made their best players almost irresistible.

"I think that's the case, looking through the side the teams performing well at the moment got players picked in their positions," Osborne said.

"We had a couple from Blayney and (Lithgow) Workmen's Club in the mix but thought the combinations of other players in the teams doing well was more beneficial."

Daniel Finn, Dave Izzard and Royce George aided Osborne at the selection table and said the group had a pretty similar list of names when they met.

It's always good to get a win in their group, and that's the ambition.

Group 10 mentor Graeme Osborne

"I left it up to those three and I just tinker at the end ... but there wasn't a lot of need to tinker. We had 20 similar names," he said.

The long-time Group 10 coach was at the helm of the side when the blue group last won back-to-back games against their Group 11 rivals.

That was in 2013-14 and the Lithgow Workies mentor is determined to replicate that feat in 2019, a task made tougher being in Forbes.

"But it's always good to get a win in their group, and that's the ambition," Osborne added before rolling through his side's strengths, which he says are " right across the park".

"We've got leadership up front with big Seags and Starling. Josh's probably playing a bit different in Oberon this year, distributing the ball a bit, but he's still a great leader up front and that's what he'll bring to this side.

"And there's clever halves with Dougie and Jack as well, and speed with Corin and Jackson. There's skill and speed spread across the group."

The Group 10 team will have a training run at Bathurst on Wednesday.

Under 18s and league tag sides are expected to be named on Friday.


The last seven Group 10 versus Group 11 results:

2018: Group 10 win 40-28 at Bathurst

2017: Group 11 win 26-24 at Parkes (under 23s)

2016: Group 11 win 38-18 at Gilgandra

2015: Group 11 win 14-6 at Dubbo

2014: Group 10 win 32-24 at Dubbo

2013: Group 10 win 30-14 at Dubbo

2012: Group 11 win 36-16 at Bathurst

  • GROUP 10: 1 Jackson Brien (Oberon), 2 Corin Smith (Mudgee), 3 Blake Lawson (Panthers), 4 Warren Williams (Cowra), 5 Lachie Munro (CYMS), 6 Jack Littlejohn (Mudgee), 7 Doug Hewitt (Panthers), 8 Brent Seager (Panthers), 9 Ryan Griffin (CYMS), 10 Josh Starling (Oberon), 11 Casey Burgess (Mudgee), 12 Jack Siejka (Panthers), 13 Rakai Tuhake (Hawks), 14 Mitch Squires (St Pats), 15 Ethan McKellar (Hawks), 16 Jack Mackay (St Pats), 17 Blake Seager (Panthers), 18 Abel Lefaosea (Oberon).