Hope in Van Der Sande

RUGBY LEAGUE: Morgan Van Der Sande will be one of the key players for the under-18 Warwick Cowboys side against Wattles in the early game on Barrett Shield Day at Father Ranger Oval on Saturday.

Van Der Sande played halfback for the Cowboys in a 26-24 U18 victory against Aspley on Saturday.

"He is just a good all-round player in attack and defence," U18 coach David O'Leary said.

"Fullback Ryan Grady was our best attacker. New recruits Michael Pearson, of Stanthorpe, and former Group 19 player Jamie Abbas were the best of the forwards.

"We only had 15 so I couldn't fault any, we had a few on holidays and ill so should be at full strength this weekend.

Van Der Sande impressed A-grade coach Ken Coles when he came off the bench in A-grade for the final 15 minutes of the game at hooker.

The Cowboys have 24 U18 players signed-up for the season and O'Leary said there would be plenty of competition for spots.

"Three or four have the ability to step up during the year and play A-grade," O'Leary said.

Van Der Sande was U18 captain on Saturday and O'Leary will trial a different player in a leadership role against Wattles.

U18 training is Tuesday and Thursday from 6pm.



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