Townsville’s best Rugby Union talent to rival the Australian Stockmen. Townsville Brolgas Head coach Trent Johnston is expected to name a side loaded with youthful talent for the match against an experienced Australian Stockmen side Friday, February 26 in Townsville.
The Brolgas coaching staff including Fran Lando (Assistant Coach) and Marty Budai (Manager) are yet to lose a match in their 3-year reign at the helm of the rep team, and despite the match next week featuring an invitational Townsville team they will be looking to keep their record alive at home – Mike Carney Toyota Park.
The Townsville Presidents XV is expected to include a majority of the Townsville contingent of the Under 20s Queensland Country team currently away at the Southern States Tournament in Adelaide this week along with a number of those experienced in the Brolgas jersey from previous campaigns. Burdekin fullback Shane Kennedy who burst out of the Under 20s last year and into a Brolgas and Queensland Country Heelers jersey will be likely to feature in the team alongside 2015 QLD Country Under 20s teammate Daniel Carman (Openside Flanker) who had a breakout year in the Teachers West Jersey last year, playing an instrumental role in their Dudley Jones Cup 1st Grade Premiership.
The Brolgas coaching staff are using the game as vital preparation leading into the annual match against the Army on Anzac Day followed by the all-important North QLD Country Champs in Cairns on the May long weekend.
“Any chance to play another game is a great opportunity for us. It is a chance to reward the guys that played well for us last year as well as look at some of the younger players and how they integrate into playing senior representative football” Johnston said. “There will always be the odd new player in town or player that shines in the first round of the club competition so I have no doubt our squad will change but it gives us a good chance to blow the cobwebs out and see how the core of the squad mix together”.
The match against the Barbarian outfit is expected to be a tough challenge in the first Rep Rugby fixture of the year with the Stockmen coming together from all over outback Queensland. The Stockmen have a wealth of touring experience having taken recent overseas tours to both New Zealand and Ireland coached on the latter by former Wallabies players Chris Roche and Tony Melrose. The Stockmen’s exploits in Ireland were well documented in the popular ‘Country to Country’ documentary narrated by John Eales and shown on Fox Sports in 2015.