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Queensland Rugby Union today announced its squads and coaching staff for the inaugural U19s Rugby Championship.
QRU will field two teams in the tournament, Brisbane City U19s and Queensland Country U19s, which will take place in Canberra from September 28 to October 5.
The 25-man squads have been selected following the completion of the Queensland Premier Rugby season, with all nine clubs represented. 11 players from the Country side hail from Queensland’s regional pathways.
QRU has also chosen two development players for the Country U19s, with Caboolture’s Mathew Connor and Noosa’s Will Christie selected following strong performances for the Queensland Country Heelers U19s earlier this year. The pair will train with the squad in the lead up to the tournament.
Queensland Country will be coached by Bond University head coach Grant Anderson, supported by Norths’ Nick Fogarty and Sunnybank’s James McLaren.
Anderson said: “We’re really excited with the group of players we’ve got. A lot of them have played premier grade Rugby this year. We’ve got a talented forward pack and some strike power in the backline.
“I think the U19s will fill a gap in our pathway program between leaving school and the Junior Wallabies. It is a crucial stepping stone for those players looking to play rep footy as a Junior Wallaby next year.
“The tournament will be a big challenge, we’ve just got to do everything we can to make sure the players are ready to take on the best in Australia.”
Brisbane City will be coached by Sunnybank head coach Damon Virtue, who will be supported by assistants Kelevi Tuicolo of Brothers and Pat Byron from Wests.
Virtue said: “We’re happy with the squad we’ve pulled together. It is a pretty good reflection of the club competition. There’s a lot of combinations within the squad, so we’re hoping they’ll come together and click fairly quickly.
“It’s pretty exciting to take part in a new competition. It’s a much needed piece of the pathway and is really beneficial to have the guys coming from this competition into Junior Wallabies duties.
“We’re expecting tough opposition with strong teams across the board. It is going to be a great tournament.”
The U19s Rugby Championship (URC) was announced by Rugby Australia earlier this year, as a replacement for the Super U20s competition.
The inaugural tournament will feature the Western Force U19s, Melbourne Rebels U19s, Brumbies U19s, Sydney U19s, NSW Country Eagles U19s, Brisbane U19s, Queensland Country U19s and the Australian Barbarians U19s.
Queensland Country U19s – Squad and coaching staff
Head coach – Grant Anderson (Bond University)
Assistant coach – Nick Fogarty (Norths)
Assistant coach – James McLaren (Sunnybank)
Brendan Bell – Brothers
Jack Butler – Bond University* - Gold Coast
Lachlan Connors – Bond University – Gold Coast
Will Dearden – Wests – Warwick
Theo Fourie – Souths - Rockhampton
Reno Gerrard – The Southport School – Gold Coast
Reagan Leslie – Souths – Toowoomba
Angus Lovelock – Brothers
Torah Moe – University of Queensland
Ollie Sheppard – Wests*
Egan Siggs – Brothers – Gold Coast
Alex Smit – Wests*
Laurence Tominiko – Sunnybank
Dane Zander – Norths
Matthew Connor – Caboolture Snakes (development player)
Max Dowd – Bond University – Gold Coast
Ilaisa Droasese – Wests
Isaac Henry – Wests
Elijah Kefu – Souths
Viliami Lea – Souths
Neal McNamara – Sunnybank
Lachlan Sperling – University of Queensland - Toowoomba
Isaac Tarabay – Brothers
Brad Twidale – University of Queensland – Bringalily (Darling Downs)
Joshua Walker – Bond University – Gold Coast
Cooper Whiteside – Wests
Will Christie – Noosa Dolphins (development player)
Brisbane City U19s – Squad and coaching staff
Head coach – Damon Virtue (Sunnybank)
Assistant coach – Kelevi Tuicolo (Brothers)
Assistant coach – Pat Byron (Wests)
Jed Chapman – GPS
Joe Cotton – Wests
Angus Dean – Souths*
Ben Fox – Sunnybank
Elijah Kuilamu – Sunnybank
Nathan Marshall – Sunnybank
Matthew Munday – Brothers
Zac Munro – Souths
Flynn Noon – Wests*
Ben Paxton-Hall – University of Queensland
Prynce-Romeo Taugaele – Wests
Rhys Van Nek – Souths
Xavier Vela-Tupuhi – Souths
John Yates – University of Queensland
Nathan Carroll - Brothers
Hudson Creighton – Brothers
Isaac De Flavis – GPS
Will Feeney – Sunnybank
Henry Lennon – Brothers*
Liam Matenga – Easts
Liam Predagast – Norths*
Byron Ralston – Brothers
Billy Rutherford – Souths
Sam Samu - Sunnybank
Tristan Stanghon – Brothers
*NRC replacement player
Unavailable due to injury:
Liam Usher - Brothers (prop)
Lloyd Gorman - Sunnybank (prop)
25 JUNE 2019