HARRISON Nowlan wasn't sure what his first season of rugby union with the Bathurst Bulldogs would bring. The man they call 'Bimbi' - after his hometown south west of Cowra - just wanted to get accustomed to playing with a new club and seeing how he'd handle a change of competition when he made the move to Bathurst for 2023. However, the Bulldogs reserve grade player will find himself wearing a NSW Country jersey later this year after being selected in the colts side for their clash with Queensland later this year. The second rower was stunned to learn he'd made the initial 32-man colts training squad after June's Country Championships, and was then thrilled to know he had progressed to the final 25 member team. "It was pretty surprising. I didn't really expect it," Nowlan said. "I was taken aback. I was just going through Facebook when the team got put up and was just seeing which of my mates made it into the team, but I was very happy to see my name there as well." Nowlan said that after a bit of encouragement he decided to make a NSW Country Colts a possible target "It's my last year of under 19s footy and I move into grade footy after this," he said. "A few of the boys and a couple of the coaches told me to have a crack at country and I thought 'Why not?' it'll be a bit of fun." Now that 'bit of fun' has turned into his biggest representative opportunity of his career. Nowlan is one of six Bathurst Bulldogs players who will represent NSW Country this year, after final teams were decided following a training camp at NSW Rugby HQ in Daceyville on July 15. Tiana Anderson, Sarah Colman and Mel Waterford made the NSW Corellas side while Peter Fitzsimmons and Adam Plummer will suit up for the NSW Cockatoos after helping Central West reclaim the Caldwell Cup. For Anderson and Colman it will be their first time representing the Corellas. Bulldogs first grade coach Dean Oxley takes the step up this year to coach the NSW Country Cockatoos. Involvement in the NSW Country team also extends to Bulldogs' Matt Waterford and Al Fryer, who will be the manager and the physio respectively. Oxley said it's been great watching Nowlan develop his game across the course of 2023 against senior opponents. "He's learning his craft. He's a younger boy playing in the forwards. Bailey Warren played some first grade last year as captain of the country under 20s, and it's always a big step up for the forwards in particular," he said. "Bimbi came away with us at the start of the year as a development player for our trial against Mereweather, which is always tough. He enjoyed the camaraderie with the club and he enjoyed the level of rugby that he was exposed to. "He knew where he fitted from the very beginning and I'm so glad to see him rewarded at the colts level. Hopefully he stays with the club because you can't coach speed, size or height. You can marginally adjust those things ... but he could end up being a really dominant player." Oxley said it's also great to see the Bulldogs' strong presence in the Corellas side continue. "It's great having a colt, the girls and the senior men. To have representation for the girls again is great, we've often had several players making it each year, and it was pleasing to see how many players were putting their hand up for Central West," he said. "That's because they can bring back that football to club level. That's what's so great about this opportunity." The Australian Rugby Shield carnival commences on September 27 at Ballymore. Reading this on mobile web? Download our news app. It's faster, easier to read and we'll send you alerts for breaking news as it happens. Download in the Apple Store or Google Play.