The George Tooke Shield is more than just ''a pub comp'' and the players have what it takes to ''challenge'' in the Canberra Raiders Cup, rep coach Zach Smith says.
Ahead of their game against Group 16 on Saturday at Seiffert Oval, Smith is sure sides from the league wouldn't be out of place in Canberra's top competition.
"The numbers across all George Tooke teams are going well," Smith said.
"It was only a few years ago that they were saying George Tooke was just a pub comp and a second division comp. It's far from that, they'd win the [Raiders Cup] reserve grade comp easy, and they would challenge a few first grade sides too."
Having clawed back late to secure a 22-22 draw against Woodbridge Cup last month, the George Tooke rep side will welcome in a plethora of new faces for the match against their South Coast opposition.
With 11 of the 17 players from their last match unavailable due to injuries or the long weekend, Smith hopes the side's young talent will make the most of their opportunity.
"Jacob Lucas from Harden is leading player of the year at the moment, he gets his opportunity to step up and he gets a bit of exposure to some different footy," Smith said.
"Zach Patterson (Boorowa Raiders) in the centres, he's been scoring some fantastic tries. He actually scored one of the best individual tries to get us out of trouble a month ago.
"Tyler Keller who plays out of nine for the Crookwell Green Devils, he's come on really well. I think you can see he's learnt a lot off Benny Picker."
Smith praised the commitment of the players who have put their hand up to don the rep jersey.
"From a relationship side of things, it actually brings the competition closer," he said.
"At the games or after the games, these players that didn't know each other are able to have a conversation and catch up."
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