YAMBA junior and Waratahs second-rower Kane Douglas believes it is only a matter of time before northern NSW unearths its next Super Rugby talent.
Towering 202cm giant Douglas has played a total of 27 matches for the Waratahs.
He started most games in the first half of the 2011 season before the ‘Tahs lost their away semi-final play-off 23-13 to Auckland Blues on June 24.
The 22-year-old Douglas, brother of Cronulla Sharks forward Luke, also played in this match.
Douglas was impressed with the 120 kids that showed up to Camp Waratah at St John's Woodlawn College in Lismore yesterday.
“There are some great kids going around up here, even at under-8 and under-9 level,” he said.
“This region probably doesn't get the credit it deserves for its young talent but there are plenty of young guys that can make it in the game.”
Douglas believes the Waratahs can bounce back from this year's disappointing loss to the Blues.
“We definitely can,” he said.
“It will be hard because we've lost experience with Kurtley Beale, Phil Waugh and Al Baxter all leaving.
“But we've come up with some good buys – Adam Ashley-Cooper is one of them.”
Douglas credited his solid season to the work of Waratahs forwards coach Michael Foley.
“He knows what he wants and he has a great mind,” he said.
“He's helped me with my lineouts and putting into practice the things I learn when I run on to the paddock.
“He makes sure you're on top mentally going into a game.”
Douglas has one more year left on his Waratahs contract and is desperate to stay at NSW.
“It was always an easy decision to go to NSW and I've loved my time there,” he said.
Douglas played junior rugby against Queensland Reds squad member and former Wollongbar-Alstonville Pioneer Ben Coridas and expressed his delight in the 23-year-old making his debut for this year's Super 15 champions.
“I played against Ben when I was young and also in the Waratah Academy,” Douglas said.
“He played a couple of games for them this year so good on him.”
Douglas lit a fuse for when the Reds and Waratahs clash again next season in Australian rugby's most heated rivalry.
“We beat them in the first round and it would have been good to beat them again in the second round, but we had a few injuries in that match,” he said.
“The Reds played some good football this year and have some good talent.”
Development manager for North Coast rugby Bruce Frame was blown away by the numbers that showed up to his clinic yesterday.
“To get 120 in Lismore is great; the town received more interest than Tamworth and the Hunter,” he said.
“Kane being a Yamba junior shows you can make it from anywhere.”
“This is the starting point and we look for discipline in the kids.
“If you do the work you get the rewards.”
At the camp the kids learnt basic catch and pass, tackle and running drills before participating in a modified sevens match.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.