The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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There's still everything to play for in this, the final weekend of the regular Total RL.com Welsh Rugby League Conference season. Newport Titans will have to re-write the record books if they are to keep third place and qualify for the Play-Offs in their first season as unbeaten Bridgend Blue Bulls will make the trip to Pill Harriers on Saturday. Should Newport fail to beat the Champions, local rivals Torfaen Tigers can replace them in the top three if they beat Swansea Valley Miners at Ystalyfera RFC. Torfaen go into the match as favourites despite a 14-26 defeat at the hands of Bridgend on Wednesday. Tigers coach, Kevin Weaver comments "We shook Bridgend up at the end at that game and came back well. Unfortunately through our own in-indiscipline, we lost the game in first 20 minutes. This Saturday is a must win for us and I'm confident that we have the team to do it. The main worry is I think we've loosened Bridgend up a bit. There's a lot of sore bodies in the Blue Bulls camp after coming up against our lads and we may have done Newport a bit favour in that way. Bridgend are a top class team though and I hope they can keep up their winning run for just one more game as we'd love to meet them again in the final." The Miners also need to win if they are to hang onto fifth place and a home tie in the Shield Play-Offs next week. If they lose, they will go down to sixth and have to travel to the winners of the basement battle clash at Taffs Well, Cardiff Demons v Valley Cougars. Despite Cardiff's superior points difference record, the Cougars go into the match as the form side with recent wins over Aberavon and Swansea. Because of this, Cardiff coach Wayne Williams is not counting any chickens but is looking forward to the game. Williams comments, "We had an excellent training session at Taffs Well on Wednesday night. The lads know the situation and more fired up for this game than any other this season. They are treating it as the most important match in our history so far as no-one wants to finish bottom of the league. Cougars have some strong players as they've shown in recent weeks. We know the job that we have to do." All games kick-off at 2.30pm while Cardiff Demons and Valley Cougars also meet at under 15 level, that game kicking off at 11.30pm.
In every other area, the play-offs have started, each with their own Grand Finals on August 7th. The winners of each of these Finals will go into the National Quarter Finals on August 14th and will be drawn as such (home advantage based on the best league record).
South v Wales Midlands v South East North East v Yorkshire Cumbria v North West
Here are this Saturdays fixtures...
HARRY JEPSON TROPHY South Greenwich V Kingston (winners play West London) Gloucester V Bristol (winners to play Somerset) Midlands Leicester V Birmingham (winners play Coventry) Nottingham V Derby (winners to play Rotherham)
South East Ipswich V North London (winners go to Final)
South Norfolk V Luton (winners play losers of above)
North East Jarrow V Newcastle (winners go to Final)
Sunderland V Peterlee (winners play losers of above)
Yorkshire Leeds V Wetherby (winners go to Final)
Hull V Bridlington (winners play losers of above)
Cumbria Barrow V Penrith (winners go to Final)
West Cumbria V Copeland (winners play losers of above)
North West Widnes v Chester (winners go to Final)
Bolton v Liverpool (winners play losers of above)
RLC SHIELD South Gosport V South London (winners go to Final) Telford V Worcester (winners to play Oxford) Midlands Wolverhampton V Rugby (winners to play St Albans); Sheffield V Worksop (winners to play Mansfield) South East St Ives V Hemel (winners go to Final)
Cambridge v Middlesex (winners play losers of above)
North East Durham V Whitley Bay (winners to play Yorkshire Coast Tigers) Yorkshire South Wakefield V Thorne (winners to Final) Bradford V Huddersfield (winners play losers of above)
North West Crewe v Lancaster (winners to Final)
Blackpool v North Wales (winners play losers of above)
Cumbria have no shield competition. The North West winners go into the semi-finals on August 21st.