Raiders face top-line talent of Central Comets

A CENTRAL Comets side boasting plenty of National Rugby League experience poses a daunting challenge for the Gladstone Raiders in Friday night's trial match at Marley Brown Oval.

Comets coach Matt Parish yesterday named a side boasting many of the club's top-line talent in addition to a number of promising youngsters.

Returning to the fold is former Balmain fullback Wade Rothery while former New Zealand War-rior Herewini Rangi's presence will again bolster the Comets forward pack.

McConkie Tauasa, who has turned out for the Sydney Roosters club, will line up in the centres on Friday night as will past Newcastle Knight Scott Briggs and former Australian schoolboys prop forward Aaron Sweeney.

With former Warriors and Canberra Raiders winger Odell Manuel, who is playing in the Comets' follow-up trial clash with Combined Central Highlands at Springsure on Saturday night, the Central outfit is not lacking for experience.

The Comets will also deploy new Woorabinda signings Yoren Major and Daniel Roberts, who are expected to come off the bench on Friday night.

Both are members of the Comets development squad but have impressed Parish with their efforts at training, prompting the former Balmain player to reward them with a run on Friday night.

Major is an outstanding halfback talent while Roberts will look to make an impact in the centres.

The Marley Brown Oval gates open at 5.30pm on Friday with curtain-raisers preceding the 8pm clash between Gladstone and the Comets.

Comets team to play Gladstone on Friday night:

Backs: Wade Rothery, Marty Hadfield, Dallas Williams, McConkie Tauasa, Clint Rothery, Darren Rodgers, Scott Briggs, Daniel Roberts, Yoren Major. Forwards: Kurt Cawdron, Aaron Sweeney, Herewini Rangi, Jade Wogand, Grant Broadhurst, Guy Williams, Mick Esdale, Tyron Haynes, Damien Howard, Leroy Wilson.

Comets team to play Central Highlands Combined at Springsure on Saturday night:

Backs: Jimmy McConahy, Mitchel Smith, Dean Loader, Odell Manuel, Tui McKenzie, Mitch Wyatte, Denny Lembert. Forwards: Pete Penaia, Luke Scott, Jade Wogand, Marty Oborn, Andrew Dale, Ryan Peters, Toby Wallace plus four to be added from Friday's team.

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