With Nathan Merritt and Greg Inglis as relatives, Laurie Daley’s First Nations Goannas’ halves pairing of Kareel Phillips and Adrian Davis announced today are well credentialed for the non-elite Indigenous team’s challenge against the Knights in their inaugural trial match at Hunter Stadium on Saturday.
The pair have been selected in a side that also includes former NRL stars David Peachey and Nathan Blacklock on an extended bench in a game that will mark the culmination of the week-long cultural festival which is being held in place of the Rugby League All Stars program that is being rested in 2014 post World Cup.
Phillips, of Redfern NSW, who has been named five-eighth, spent last week at the Rabbitohs alongside his Uncle Nathan Merritt, while Davis of Scarborough QLD, a cousin of Greg Inglis, was at the Sea Eagles as part of their two-week preparation for an opportunity of a lifetime. The pair also spent time with Merritt and Inglis at the NRL Indigenous Players’ Camp last weekend.
Match day at Hunter Stadium (February 8) will further extend the family ties for Phillips, whose sister Lavinia will play for the NSW Indigenous women’s team against the QLD Indigenous women as one of two curtain-raisers, ahead of the NSW and QLD U16 boys clash.
First Nations Goannas
1. Javarn White (Ipswich QLD)
2. Kieran Vale (Zetland NSW)
3. Rickki Sutherland (Cairns QLD)
4. Joshua Benjamin (Mackay QLD)
5. Malcolm Congoo (Townsville QLD)
6. Kareel Phillips (Redfern NSW)
7. Adrian Davis (Scarborough QLD)
8. Reggie Saunders (Southport QLD)
9. Roy Smith (Marrickville NSW)
10. Matthew Pittman (Marooka QLD)
11. Noel Underwood (Edmonton QLD)
12. Davin Crampton (Cairns QLD)
13. Phil Dennis (Woodridge QLD)
14. David Peachey (Dubbo NSW)
15. Nathan Blacklock (Mackay QLDMackay QLD)
16. James Livock (Strathfield NSW)
17. Rod Jensen (Cairns QLD)
18. Bobby Nona (Rockhampton QLD)
19. Rex Johnson (Helensburgh NSW)
20. Dennis Moran (Parkes NSW)