CANBERRA'S regional representative rugby league squad will look to change their fortunes from last year's country championships when they take on Newcastle in Wyong.
The side that was narrowly beaten in last year's semifinal against Illawarra will comprise of six players from Queanbeyan, including Queanbeyan Blues Levi Freeman, Tyler Stevens and Michael Cullen, while the cross-town Kangaroos will be represented by Josh Mitchell, Richard Kelly and Aidan Woods.
While injuries and a suspension to Kangaroos player Adam Pearce have caused some setbacks, Coach Jack Giddings is confident the team can overturn these distractions.
"With the suspension, it has caused a bit of disruption but we'll recover from that," he said.
"There's plenty of quality around the competition and plenty of young blokes who have put their hand up to play."
Each Queanbeyan player has arguably had blinders of seasons to date with the Kangaroos sitting on top of the Canberra Raiders Cup competition while the Blues sit in fourth with a good eye on the top of the competition.
Freeman has showed why he is one of Canberra’s best second rowers for the Blues, making many line-breaks in assisting halves Marc Herbert and Andrew McLean to work the ball for their outside backs.
While the Blues have not had the best season to date, they put on a show in their 44-6 demolition of the previously in-from Gungahlin Bulls, with Stevens and fullback Jake Knight scoring three tries in the effort.
Despite only one training session so far for the Canberra side, Giddings praised his Queanbeyan players.
"All the players from the Blues and the Kangaroos have been great so far," he said.
"Tyler Stevens was one who played last year and he's back and in good form."
Despite being his second year, Stevens said it was still a great honour to be picked and is confident the team can overturn last year's result.
"We just got to turn up on the day with our heads in the right place and we'll get the win," he said.
With numerous players returning Stevens said chemistry with the players had progressed much quicker than last year.
However in order to be victorious against Newcastle, coach Giddings believes the side must play hard and concentrate on the little things.
"You have to be nice and tough and have that attention to detail," he said.
"By doing all these simple things we'll have a great chance to add that up to a big victory."
The match against Newcastle will take place on June 14, with the victor to play the winner of the other game between Central Coast and Illawarra.