LOCAL DERBY: Bangalow's Darcy Hilton and Byron Bay's Charles Woolard get ready for this weekend's face off.
LOCAL DERBY: Bangalow's Darcy Hilton and Byron Bay's Charles Woolard get ready for this weekend's face off. Andrew Teuma

Byron Bay and Rebels ready for tough test in local derby

THERE is nothing like a local derby to produce great rugby played with plenty of passion.

Round 5 of the 2018 Far North Coast Rugby season kicks off on Saturday with the two premier teams in the shire, Byron Bay Rugby and Bangalow Rebels, facing off for the first time this season.

The traditional rivals have shared the honours in recent years, the teams trading wins last year as they did in 2016.

With bragging rights again on the line both line-ups will be desperate for the premiership points when they face off at Byron Bay Memorial Recreation Grounds on Saturday.

Unbeaten competition leaders Bangalow will start favourites but Will Latham said he was expecting a tough test against third-placed Byron.

"It's been a solid start to the season for us but this will be our biggest test so far,” he said.

"Byron versus Bangalow is always the most physical and fiery game of the season and the boys are really looking forward to Saturday afternoon.”

Byron Bay are just two points adrift of Bangalow on the premiership table after losing to reigning champions Wollongbar Pioneers, but club vice-president Andy Teuma said morale remains high.

"We've had plenty of injuries and haven't had the numbers from previous years but we've stuck to our guns and come through for the wins,” Teuma said.

In Reserve grade, Byron/Suffolk Park Sandcrabs are second on the ladder after an undefeated start to the season, while Bangalow are fifth.

Reserve grade begins at 1.50pm at the Memorial Recreation Grounds in Tennyson Street, with the first grade to kick off at 3pm. Entry is free.