3/29/2012

Country Rugby continues to generate St.George Queensland Reds talent


The recent selection of Rugby Gold Coast back Nathan Eyres-Brown into the St.George Queensland Reds squad has further reinforced the significance Country Rugby pathways are having in generating elite-level talent.
 
Eyres-Brown commenced his Rugby career at Gold Coast's The Southport School before going on to earn selection in the 2009 Queensland Country Rugby team following a successful stint with the Gold Coast Breakers, who he was preparing with ahead of the 2012 season before being called up into the injury-struck Reds backline.

The Queensland Country pathways are designed to give players an opportunity to earn higher representative honours for Queensland and in 2012 Eyres-Brown became the latest Country Rugby representative to be elevated to Super Rugby level.

His selection further illustrates the opportunities available to players outside of Brisbane with Reds and Rugby Gold Coast props Ben Daley and James Slipper, Theodore product Rob Simmons and Warwick’s Greg Holmes four further examples of Country Rugby talent forging a successful provincial and international Rugby career.

The Queensland Country development pathways are a successful formula in assisting players who want to elevate their game to the next level.

Available pathways for 2012 are outlined below and are a major stepping stone for players wanting to gain selection in the Graincorp Queensland Country Heelers squad for 2013 where they will be given an opportunity to play the touring British Lions in Newcastle.

Not since the All Blacks (1984), Western Samoa (1989) and Papua New Guinea (1991) has the Heelers being given an opportunity of this magnitude to test their skills against an international touring squad.

Graincorp Queensland Country Heelers
The Graincorp Queensland Country Heelers are Queensland's senior Country representative team featuring the best talent on offer throughout the State.  In 2012 the Heelers have a busy schedule headlined by their two-match series against the NSW Cockatoos in May.

Schedule
Queensland Country Heelers v NSW Country Cockatoos
May 12 in Rockhampton

Queensland Country Heelers v NSW Country Cockatoos
May 19 in Cowra

Under 20 Interstate Carnival
June 9-11 at Palm Beach Currumbin

Queensland Country Heelers v Queensland Suburban
July 21 in Goondiwindi

Graincorp Queensland Country Championships
The 2012 Graincorp Queensland Country Championships will be contested by regions made up from Northern, Central and Southern Queensland.
 
The regions will playoff against one another in a round robin format before representative teams are then selected from each region to compete in the Queensland Country Championships, also played using the round robin format.

Northern Queensland
Central Queensland
Southern Queensland
Cairns
Mt Isa
Townsville
Mackay
Rockhampton
Central Highlands
Western Queensland
Wide Bay
 
Sunshine Coast
Darling Downs
Gold Coast
 
 

Schedule
April 21 - Central Queensland vs South Queensland at Rockhampton
April 28 - North Queensland vs Central Queensland at Mackay
May 5 - South Queensland vs North Queensland at Gatton

City v Country Carnival
The City vs Country Carnival is an annual event that sees players from Country Queensland come together to compete against players from the Brisbane Competitions.

Schedule
Queensland Country v City*
July 14 at Suncorp Stadium
*This match will be played as the Curtain Raiser to the St.George Queensland Reds v NSW Waratahs.

Queensland Country Heelers v Queensland Suburban
July 21 in Goondiwindi

Under 20 Interstate Carnival
As part of the long-term vision for Country Rugby, the Gold Coast will host the Under 20 Interstate Carnival during the Queens’ Birthday long weekend in June, whereby Queensland Country will do battle against NSW Country, Victoria, South Australia and Northern Territory.
 
The Under 20 Interstate Carnival is an important link to better prepare players transitioning from junior Rugby through to senior representation.  In recent history, Colts Rugby in Queensland has been played as an Under 19 age group, however, Queensland Country Rugby Union has elected to nominate an Under 20 side to compete during the carnival.

Schedule
SATURDAY June 9                                          
Match 1     Victoria vs QCRU Presidents XV
Match 2     Queensland Country vs Northern Territory
Match 3     New South Wales Country vs South Australia                                                                               
 
SUNDAY June 10          
Match 4     2nd best Loser vs 3rd best loser from day 1
Match 5     2nd best winner vs 3rd best winner from day 1
Match 6     Best winner vs best loser from day 1
                                                                                            
MONDAY June 11                                                                 
Match 7     Loser Match 4 vs Loser Match 5 (5th & 6th play off)
Match 8     Winner Match 4 vs Loser Match 6 (3rd & 4th play off)
Match 9     Winner Match 5 vs Winner Match 6 (GF - 1st and 2nd play off)

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