Twenty-year-old Wests bowler Tom Allen will make his Bush Blues debut at the Australian Country Championships in Wollongong in January.
Allen was one of four Newcastle players named in the 14-person NSW Country squad on Monday, joining incumbents Nick Foster (Stockton) and Joe Price (Wests) as well as recalled Pat Darwen (Merewether).
Allen and Riverina’s Jarryd Hatton were the two under-23 players selected, which this season became a Cricket Australia requirement for all participating states.
Central North skipper Tom Groth is again the wicketkeeper while former Merewether and Cardiff all-rounder Kaine Harmsworth also made the cut.
Tamworth’s Jeff Cook, who played at Cardiff last summer, will coach the side
The team announcement was made after the weekend’s NSW Country Championship final with Western easily accounting for Central Coast by seven wickets at Ourimbah.
It was Western’s third title in five seasons.
Newcastle were unable to defend their crown after finishing fractionally behind Central Coast on the overall standings in the group stage at Narrabri a fortnight ago.
The nine-day national carnival starts on January 3. Two-day matches have been scrapped. Instead the six teams will play two full rounds of one-day and T20 fixtures.
NSW COUNTRY: Peter Gallichan (Central Coast), Tom Allen (Newcastle), Djali Bloomfield (Southern ACT), Pat Darwen (Newcastle), Nick Foster (Newcastle), Keiran Gray (Southern ACT), Tom Groth (Central North), Kaine Harmsworth (Central Coast), Jarryd Hatton (Riverina), Ben Mitchell (Southern ACT), Jordan Moran (Western), Jonathan Nicoll (Riverina), Joe Price (Newcastle), Cameron Suidgeest (Southern ACT).