The Land Rover Northern Territory Mosquitoes fly to Townsville on Friday on a two match tour of the unofficial capital of North Queensland.
It will be the first time in over two years since the Mozzies have graced the paddock in the 15-a-side version of the game having defeated the ASRU Warriors 33-20 in Darwin.
In 2013 the Mozzies defeated Tasmania, drew with South Australia and gave Queensland a good hit-out in a four team tournament in Adelaide.
Half of the squad will be representing the Northern Territory at senior level for the first time and includes a mix of seasoned and rookie talent.
The Mozzies will play a Townsville Under 21 Select on Friday Night and the Townsville & District RU Brolgas on Sunday afternoon with both matches played at Mike Carney Toyota Park (Hugh Street Rugby Grounds).
Palmerston’s Michael Killiner will captain the Mosquitoes for the first time.
Killiner was the 2015 Eric Johnston Medallist and will lead an imposing forward pack featuring robust South Darwin backrower Misoika Timoteo who won the Willie Ellison Medal for Best on Ground in last month’s Grand Final and two time Eric Johnston Medal runner-up Bobby Nurse.
Casuarina Prop Eric Erickson played three Tests for the Philippines at the Asia Rugby Championship earlier this year will be joined in the Front Row by NT Schoolboy Captain Liam Bilston.
Bilston had a stellar season for the Crocs culminating in being awarded the Tawera Kerr-Barlow Medal as the 2016 Rising Star.
The Tour is part of an ongoing Development Plan for the Senior Men’s Representative Program with the Brolgas reciprocating next year by coming to Darwin for matches against the Mosquitoes and a Development XV.
The Squad is; Michael Killiner (captain), Robert Butcher (vice-captain) Eric Erickson, Liam Bilston, Peter Pauli, Tom Barker, Joe Matiaha, Josh Phillips, Ian Aokuso, Misoika Timoteo, Brad Hogan, Greg Tobin, Marcus Maaka, Bobby Nurse, Trent Everson, Zack Phillips, Vinnie Mehn, Jack Morrison, Jett Norris, Drew Tobin Jason Lim. Rhys Mulholland, Tim O'Neill, Ben Parkes Coaches Peter McGrath, Joe Albert Manager Sean Killiner Sports Trainer Sarah Moran
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.