The Cootamundra Tricolours and Tricolettes will face off against near-town rivals Harden in their opening fixture of the GrainCorp South Central on Saturday, April 22.
Coming off a positive pre-season campaign including a drought-breaking win over Griffith, the Tricolours will be looking to make it two from two against the Red Devils in 2017 after stealing a 19-14 win in the Coota 10s competition.
With a handful of new players merging forces with the core squad that saw Cootamundra to the South Central grand final last year, Tricolours skipper Joshua Hudson has already noticed an improvement over the preseason months and is relishing the thought of another showdown against the Red Devils.
“Our preseason got off to a pretty slow start but things have really picked up after a few trial games,” Hudson said.
“Judging from those trial matches, this side looks to have the potential to be as good if not better than our teams over the last few seasons.
“We’re definitely looking forward to a 15-a-side hit-out against Harden in the wake of our game at the Coota 10s.”
Meanwhile, Harden, led by co-captains John Manchester and Clint Stevens, would take confidence from their performance in a solid hitout against Grenfell and will be chomping at the bit to avenge their last-minute tournament loss to the Tricolours last month.
Red Devils president Harry Sachs said Harden was looking forward to a tough contest against Cootamundra and expressed confidence in his young side.
“We’ve had a pretty good preseason so far with a fairly young team,” Sachs said.
“We’re pretty confident heading into this game but it’s always an evenly matched contest when we play against our cross-town rivals, especially at home.”
The women’s fixture promises to be an absolute cracker with the newly formed Harden SheDevils ready to rip into 2016 semi-finalists Cootamundra.
The Tricolettes will look to assert themselves early and win the battle up front whilst the SheDevils will draw strength from a vocal home crowd and the cool heads of experienced campaigners such as former Canberra Royals outside back Renee Kerrison.
The winner will claim bragging rights for the next two months before meeting again in round seven at the Country Club Oval in Cootamundra.
The rugby starts at 2pm with the Tricolettes and SheDevils going head-to-head before the Tricolours and Red Devil’s game kicks off at 2.30pm.
The Harden clubhouse will be staying open until late after the fixtures and families are encouraged to attend.