Newcastle Knights' assistant coach Danny Buderus has headed back to rugby league’s grassroots as part of his role as the assistant coach of the 2015 Country Origin side.
The Newcastle Knights legend and former Canterbury Bulldogs captain Andrew Ryan, have been lapping up the week leading into the match at Wagga Wagga’s as past Country Origin representatives and have spent time in the regional communities promoting the game.
Buderus grew up in the Mid North Coast town of Taree and represented Country Origin five times and NSW Origin in 21 games while Ryan, who was born in Dubbo, played 6 games for Country and 12 games with the NSW Blues
“I love Country week as a member of staff, but as a player it’s a great week as well. It’s nice and relaxed. Trent Barrett (coach) does a really good job,” Buderus told CRL TV on Friday.
“You get out to the country areas and meet some of the real core people in our game.
“It’s a fun week and hopefully it all tops off with a win on Sunday.”
The assistant coach put plenty of confidence in the Country Origin side that boasts exciting new talent as well as proven experience.
“We have some young kids with Jack Bird who has only played six NRL games,” he said.
“Tyson Frizell I think could be a real smoker for the NSW Origin team.
“And then you have the Canberra boys. No wonder they are having a good season. They are pretty diligent and professional.
“Shannon Boyd is in for a big future and I’ve never seen a bigger guy.
“Where always looking for the younger guys to come through.
“And then there are the experienced guys in Aku (Uate) and (James) McManus from the Knights. Those two are vying for a wing spot and have been very focused as well.
“We’ll see a pretty competitive game on Sunday.”
Ryan described the week leading into the match as outstanding and predicts the community to come out in force to experience the blockbuster match between the City and Country Origin sides on Sunday at McDonald Park.
“The weather has been unbelievable as well and the locals out in Wagga have had a great time and the players have been really good too,” Ryan said.
“We have gotten out to clinics and seen heaps of kids and signed lots of autographs and it’s all tracking towards a massive day on Sunday.
"It’s a fantastic stadium in Wagga and hopefully everyone gets out there,” Buderus concluded.
Country Origin squad:
1. David Mead, 2. Akuila Uate, 3. Jarrod Croker, 4. Jack Wighton, 5. James McManus, 6. James Maloney, 7. Jarrod Mullen, 8. Dale Finucane, 9. Ryan Hinchcliffe, 10. Kade Snowden, 11. Joel Thompson, 12. Tyson Frizell, 13. Josh Jackson. Interchange: 14. Jack Bird, 15. Paul Vaughan, 16. Tariq Sims, 17. Ryan James, 18. Shannon Boyd Coach: Trent Barrett