13 Mar gungahlin gauge
The trial matches against Gungahlin on Saturday at Campese will be the gauge of where the Whites stand in the pecking order in 2019.
Although there is a long way to go the Eagles will be a significant force as they have player quality and quantity. New coach Marco Caputo has recruited using his influence as an NRC coach and prominent forwards coach. Add Ben McGee into the mix and there is plenty being offered at the Eagles.
The Whites have had a short-time to rebuild with many established players retiring and a growing injury list from the pre-season trials.
Prop Fred Kaihea has had his dreams of playing for the Australian Under 20’s with a foot fracture that will keep him sidelined for 10 weeks.
Up and coming centre Fraser Smith is likely to give the game away after injuring his other ankle after recovering from a similar injury in 2018.
Performances at Wollongong have at least put pressure on the coaching staff with several putting their hands up for a first-grade spot.
The most interesting area is the second row where there are no certainties. The youngsters, Noa Nadruku, Michael Gordon and Becs Seeto are all showing up and delivering. Other options could include moving Ryan Jones into lock, not his preferred option, or even Lewis Bozzato, hardly his preferred position.
The backrow has Sokai Tai, Bozzato, Jones and Justin Sikimeti with four not going into three. There is also Matt Taylor and the youngsters mentioned above to fill spots.
Colts kick it off at 12.30 with three 20 minutes, then seconds at 1.45 followed by the firsts squad at 3.15 with three lots of 25 minutes.