NSW Country selectors have chosen two squads of 14 players to represent the NSW Bush Blues and Breakers at the Toyota Australian Country Championships in Toowoomba from 2 to 12 January.

Seven players receive their first Country caps for the Bush Blues, including promising fast bowler Caelan Maladay, with five for the Bush Breakers.

Former ACT Meteors allrounder Kira Churchland is one of those debutants. She joins batter Sara Darney, allrounder Anita Handono, Kellsie Turner and Catherine Wood in the Bush Breakers squad.

Others who have been selected in the Bush Blues squad for the first time are batsmen Adam Berwick, Kerrod White, Aaron Wivell, pace bowler Ryan Brown, allrounder Michael Rixon and seamer Andrew Somerville.

Former NSW left-arm finger spinner, and Sydney First Grade legend, Anthony Kershler is the new Bush Blues coach for this year’s Championships.

Experienced off-spinner Nick Foster will captain the Bush Blues after leading Newcastle to the Male NSW Country title in mid-November, while the experienced Kate Jackson captains the Bush Breakers.

Last season’s Josh Hazlewood Medallist, as Male NSW Country Player of the Year, big-hitting allrounder Caleb Ziebell has also been named for the Bush Blues.

The Bush Blues have won the Male T20 title at the last two National Country Championships.

The Bush Breakers lost to Victoria Country in the semi-finals of last season’s championships and vice-captain Naomi McDonald will again be vital to their title hopes.

Last season, she made 210 runs at an average of 42 during the Country Championships and was named in the Australian Country Women’s Merit team.

It was the second successive year that Ziebell and McDonald had been named in the respective Men’s and Women’s Merit team.


Bush Blues squad

Name Zone
Nick Foster ( c ) Newcastle
Chris Archer Central Coast
Alec Baldwin North Coastal
Adam Berwick Greater Illawarra
Scott Burkinshaw Central Coast
Ryan Brown Riverina
Josh Geary Newcastle
Tom Groth Central Northern
Caelan Maladay North Coastal
Michael Rixon Central Northern
Andrew Somerville Newcastle
Kerrod White Greater Illawarra
Aaron Wivell Newcastle
Caleb Ziebell North Coastal
Coaching staff
Anthony Kershler – Coach
Shane Burley – Assistant Coach/Manager
David Redden – Scorer
Llew Scott – Physio


Bush Breakers squad

Name Zone
Kate Jackson ( c ) North Coastal
Kira Churchland Western
Sara Darney Western
Sophie Heath Greater Illawarra
Anita Handono North Coastal
Tiegan Kavanagh Central Coast
Joanne Kelly Greater Illawarra
Synetta Manns Western
Naomi McDonald ( vc ) North Coastal
Alana Ryan Western
Kirsten Smith Central Northern
Kellsie Turner Western
Jackie Vickery Central Northern
Catherine Wood Riverina
Coaching staff
Neil McDonald – Coach
Carolyn Sheehan – Assistant Coach/Manager
Jessica Stoll – Physio
Allison Brockley – Scorer