Paul Tuala Heads A List Of 57 Illawarriors Selected For Country

By Ron Wood

Illawarriors Captain Paul Tuala is right at the top of the list of 57 Illawarra Players to be selected in NSW Country Squads after last weekend’s Country Championships. The Squads covering Seniors, Colts, Women’s, and Junior Boys and Girls age groups where announced during the week.

Wollongong University stalwart Tuala, is one of six Illawarra players named in the Cockatoos Squad to prepare for the short 2022 Cockatoos program. Tech Waratahs trio Stephen Schwenke, Misieli Sinoti and TanielaTuipulotu were named in the squad along with Matori Atunaisa from Kiama, and Jack Hobbs from Vikings.

Paul Tuala’s selection is well deserved after his standout performance in Tamworth for the Illawarriors. Paul has declared the 2022 season will be his final year in Illawarra Rugby and set a goal for himself to finish with another Caldwell Cup victory for Illawarra and Cockatoo selection. The Caldwell Cup victory evaded him but he will be over the moon to once again represent his beloved Cockatoos one more time.

Despite their side not winning a game in Tamworth last week five Illawarrior Colts players have made it into the Country Colts Squad. Jaxon Clark and James Hicks from University have made the squad along with Josh De Kok and Felix Talbot from Bowral. Also in the Colts Squad is Hugo Fay from Tech Waratahs.

At the Junior level Illawarra sides won three Country Championships in the Boys Under 14’s and Under 16’s, along with the Girls Under 16 side finishing as Joint Champions with Hunter. Thirty boys have won selection in Country Squads across the ages and fourteen girls were included in three Country Girls Squads.

The full list of Junior Country Representatives are:

Boys Under 18’s – Tyler O’Brien, Darnell Te Ahuru, Dom Uliana, Josh Parrish, Nate Makotsvana, John Koroi Jokatoma, Leo Malaesilia and Harry Velavatu.

Girls Under 18’s – Charlotte Basham, Tyanne Kerr, Hope Millard, Lailani Montgomery, Zali O’Brien, and Mia Walsh.

Boys Under 16’s – Jacob Colwell (Avondale), Ezekial Kennedy (University), Rico Ross (Kiama), Jack Tully (Tech Waratahs), Harry Middleton (Kiama), Callum Hodgson (Kiama), Nathaniel Gallagher (Camden), and Charlie Heidke (Kiama).

Girls Under 16’s – Veronica Agavale, Maria Paseka, Jayda Patrick, Tahlia O’Brien, and Bronte Wilson.

Boys Under 15’s – Ben Askew, Isaac Elliot, Jerome Gargoles, Glassie Glassia, Mase Hilcoat, Dusty Moffitt, Mason Norval, Riley Parrish, Hanare Reti, Noah Spiteri, Kai Wilson and Seamus Wood.

Boys Under 14’s – Brayden Lang, Ronel Marc-Ribucan, Lacom Poaching, and Max Sutton.

Girls Under 14’s – Angela Agave, Rebecca Cusack, Jacquelline Anna Scott.