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Roosters ready to rip into nines

SPEED: Roosters captain-coach Ryan McGoldrick will be taking his side to the Cootamundra Nines this weekend. Picture: Anthony Stipo.

Ryan McGoldrick will takehis Darlington Point-Coleambally Roosters to Cootamundra to compete in this weekend’s nines competition.

The former NRL and Super League player played hisshare of nines footballin England and said his side wouldhave to adapt to a totally different style of rugby league.

“It’s been a long pre-season for us. We started a couple of weeks before Christmas andthe nines is a chance to play a bit of footy,” McGoldrick said.

“Withthe nines, it’s different to a regulation gameof football.It’s a bit of fun.

“We’ve got a few ideas to help us adjust.

“Four players cover a lot of ground.Alot of teams start to throw the ball around a bit more.

“Alot of teams go one marker, so around the ruckit changes a lot.”

The Roosters will be one of six Group 20 sides participating inthe annual competition.McGoldricksounded out several players who look likely to excel in the format.

“JoshVeivers,he’s experienced and likes the open space,” McGoldrick said.

“Dillon Barttershould go allright.There’s Tongia Fox and Chris Latu in the front row.It will be good to see how these guys go.”

The tournament will be the first football for the Roosters this year and will offer the first glimpse of new French recruitThomas Villoni.

Villoni is the only signing McGoldrick has made from outside the Darlington Point regionas he looksto bolster the side with locals to help promote the game in the area and give youngplayersa chance to prove themselves.

Little is known about Villoni, but McGoldricksaid the French prop had been excelling at training.

“He (Villoni)looks really good.It will be good to see how he goes in the competition,” he said.

“We’ve had massive numbers at training.We are getting around 55 to60 to training.

“We probably havetwo or three blokes who we can get here withtwo weeks’ notice,but I’m not going to bring them in if we have locals to play.

“I don’t want to stunt the progression of younger guys and the league.”

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