State Junior Championship Preview

More than 260 of the state’s best junior rugby league players will converge on the Sunshine Coast this week for the annual TJS Services State Junior Championships.

All three QRL Divisions (SEQ Water Dragons, Central Crows and Northern Marlins) will be represented in Under 14 and Under 16 Boys and Girls divisions across four days of competition at the Sunshine Coast Council Sports Precinct at Kawana.

The competition kicks off tomorrow (Thursday, June 29) and will run through until Sunday, July 2.

This year’s carnival will also see a few positive changes to the event.

The Under 16 Boys Queensland team will be selected from the carnival, with chosen players heading almost directly in to camp to prepare to play New South Wales as the curtain-raiser to State of Origin Game III.

QRL Head of Football Neil Wharton said it was a positive move to have the best talent from across the state all at the carnival together.

“Previously, we have selected the Queensland Under 16s from the Cyril Connell Cup competition,” Wharton said.

“With that competition ceasing this year, it allows all players to attend this carnival and have selectors benchmark performances across the whole weekend.

“There will also be a strong off-field focus on player wellbeing, with participants exposed to the acclaimed Resilience Project as well as the NRL’s Career Wise program.”

High performance staff will have a keen eye on the Under 14 age groups with talent identification for future Queensland Academy of Sport squads in both the boys and girls.

Gates open 9am on Thursday at the Sunshine Coast Council Sports Precinct (320 Nicklin Way, Kawana) with a daily $5 entry fee for adults.

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