Joe Albert has swapped a mouthguard for a clipboard to take on the coaching role of Team New Zealand ahead of tomorrow night’s Country of Origin Match against Team Australia at Land Rover Rugby Park.
After a distinguished playing career Joe hung up the boots following last Season’s Preliminary Final and took on the Assistant Coaches Role with the Mosquitoes for their emphatic victory over Townsville and Districts in September.
Team Australia will be coached by revered backrower Braedon Early whose representative career included playing Number Eight for the Northern Territory against Scotland 25 years ago next month and was co-coach of the Mosquitoes in 2011 for a home series against Queensland Country and South Australia.
The Country of Origin fixture was reintroduced to the NT Rugby Union calendar in 2015 after an absence of more than a decade as a celebration of the centenary of ANZAC.
The Kiwis won that spirited clash well but the ledger was squared last year with a convincing win by the Aussies.
The match is scheduled to commence at 7.10pm which concludes a Gala Day of Rugby featuring Junior Boys and Junior Girls Matches, a Trial for the NT Goannas plus the Mercure Cup between Katherine and Central Australia.
Team Australia: T Roe, E Lewis, E Erickson (vc) R Oakley, B Parkes, F Goldrick, B Hogan, S Tua, R McMurray, Z Phillips (cpt) J Fitzgerld, D Tobin, B Booth, J Hockney, B Condon
Reserves S Fullen, J Krook, D Tohifolau, J Rutherford, J Norris, N Maher, C Court, J Morrison Coach B Early
Team New Zealand: E Anguna, J Lawrence, M Peni, F Fauetea, I Aokuso, B Foliola, F Kiutau, C Paseka, N Barlow (cpt) K Hart (vc) D Penetito, W Kuka, S Sala’a, A Heal, A Atunaisa
Reserves P Ruri, A Bretherton, T Fakaalofa, A Paito, T Forbes, F Aumua, 2 x NTBA Coach J Albert