No injuries the priority for Manning Ratz

GETTING through Saturday's Lower North Coast rugby gala day at Old Bar with no injuries will be the main priority for Manning River Ratz.

This will be the side's final run before the kick off of the season-proper on Saturday May 3.

Manning will be without centre Clint Walker who has working commitments tomorrow while Matt Hardcastle has an injured hand.

"We'll have a team there,'' Ratz coach Danial Stone said.

The Ratz were grand finalists last season but have lost some players back to Old Bar with the Clams reforming again.

Stone remains confident the Ratz will be a force in the competition, however he admits that with around 23 players on the books, they can't afford too many injuries.

He was impressed with the effort against Mid North Coast champions Port Pirates at Port Macquarie last week.

The Pirates won four tries to three, the winning try coming in the last five minutes.

The Ratz and Old Bar play in the first game tomorrow at the Trad Complex.

Clams coach Chad Lambert said earlier this week he expects to have close to his full complement of players available tomorrow after the club struggled for numbers in the trial game against Kempsey last Saturday.

Lambert added the Clams will have a number of newcomers to rugby this year and he isn't expecting miracles in the early season matches.

However, he is sure he will have enough experienced players who will ensure the Clams will be competitive before the season is through.

All six Lower North Coast clubs along with the Mid North Coast's Port Pirates will play in tomorrow's gala.

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