Sav's Sidelines: Southland Country eye representative campaign
The chosen ones
The Southland Country selectors have named a wider squad to prepare for their representative campaign this season.
Southland Country will play three games in 2017 starting with the annual showdown against Town which this year will be played in Invercargill on Monday of Queens Birthday weekend, June 5.
They will also play Otago Country in Waikaia on June 21 and then Canterbury Country in Wyndham on August 21.
The team will be coached by Balfour's finest Jeff Clearwater with assistance from Mark Houston and Gregor Laughton.
Southland Country president Marc Robertson said the squad was selected from those players who made themselves available for the recent sub-union fixtures against premier clubs.
Other players were not considered with Robertson feeling it was important to highlight sub-union rugby is the stepping stone to Southland Country selection.
The squad will hold their first training on Wednesday night at the Gore Showgrounds and Robertson said it was important for players who can not make training to get in contact with himself or Jeff Clearwater.
Jim Matheson, Bill Christie, Cody de Vries, Cody Barrett, Rory McCall, Jade Whatuira, Luke Muir, Pete van Dam, Morgan Mitchell, Logan McKee, Hamish Anderson, Connor Morrison, Brenton Howden, Jim Napier, Todd Keown, Cody Sayer, Joe Desmond, Ben McFaul, Lachie McCall, Chris Ponga, Cole Birse, Tim Watt, Sam Brame, Josh Cameron, Leighton Coker, Jahvis Wallace, Juan Kyle, Liam Adams, Jack Lyders, Isaac Wairau, Blane de Vries, Ben McKercher, Dan Perry, Andy Hamilton, Jack McGuire, Aaron McDowell, Tefion Davies, Oliver Stirling, Damon Hurley, Harley McKenzie, Todd Wells, Cory Manipoto, Charlie Rowberry, Tom Medlicott.
Tokanui doing it tough
It has been a real battle for the Tokanui Rugby Club to date this season as club members have worked tirelessly to ensure they can get a team out on the field each Saturday.
Unfortunately they lost the battle in terms of this weekend's division two game against Mossburn in Mossburn.
Tokanui have been forced to default and are now calling on anyone who might be able to step in and help them out to get them through the remainder of the season.
A message from the club: "A core group of players and the coaches are keeping this team going as best as possible. They need your help, we need some more players - are there any out there?"
If you are contemplating pulling on the boots give Tokanui a thought folks.
They are a proud club, which includes winning the Galbraith Shield in 1978.
For those who love a bit of nostalgia, Tokanui beat Invercargill (Blues) 9-7 to win the 1978 Galbraith Shield final after earlier that week many of the Tokanui players were part of the Southland team which beat Australia at Rugby Park.
Fergus Dermody kicked two penalties and Jeff Gardiner one in Tokanui's Galbraith Shield win.
The Tokanui team featured names like Fergus Dermody, Stuart Dermody, Lex Chisholm, Dave Morrison, Gerald Dermody, Dave Lamb, Bruce Lamb, David Wray, Les O'Donnell, Ash Blair, Shane O'Donnell - and the list goes on.
It is sad Tokanui are now in a position where just putting a team on the paddock has become the major challenge, but it is a reality for rural clubs throughout the country in the modern day.
Congratulations to Edendale prop Bevan Caldwell who will bring up game No 100 when he lines up against Riversdale in the division one fixture at Edendale on Saturday.
They have a core group at Edendale who have been around for a while and that experience should ensure they are again a real threat for the division one title in 2017.
Frontrowers are also like gold to any club these days, so top work Bevan.
We had a mix up around the division two draw early printed, so to clear it up here are the division two games which will take place on Saturday.
Blues B will play Albion-Excelsior at Blues, Pioneer host Waikiwi at Newman Park, while Marist B will make the trip to Queenstown to play Wakatipu.
Of course, as already mentioned, the other game won't take place with Tokanui defaulting to Mossburn.