THE best of the region's student rugby league players are preparing to take on Australian rivals.

The North-East Student squad has gathered for a last training camp at RAF Cosford, Shropshire, ahead of a match against the University of Technology Sydney Jets, who are student champions of New South Wales.

The squad draws its members from universities and colleges across the North.

Head coach Chris Hood said: "We have retained most of our regional championship-winning squad, and that augurs well for both the tour game and the rest of the season."

Mr Hood will use the warm-up game against an RAF team to select his final 17 for the match, which will take place on Wednesday at Gateshead International Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.30pm.

Tickets are £5 for adults, and £2 for children under 16.