THE Mareeba Gladiators Junior Rugby League club certainly isn’t short of talent, and that is evidenced after eight of its players were selected to represent Cairns in the North Queensland Championships held in Townsville in June.
Bryce Fincham and Sawyer Nehow were selected in the U13s side, while the U14s side saw four Mareeba players selected as Cain Hastie, Jett McDowall, Kyan Sheppard and Leon Wood are set to don Cairns’ green and gold colours next month. U15s and U16s both had one Mareeba player chosen, with Reece Dally (U15s) and Elishah Mathieson (U16s) selected for their respective age-groups.
Mareeba Junior Rugby League President Darin Hastie said it’s great to see a good number of players from a small town like Mareeba be selected to compete at such a respected junior rugby league tournament. “It’s a great achievement for these young blokes and it’s good to see from the club’s perspective that we have another strong crop of players making their mark on the Cairns competition,” he said. “We also had a few other players who were really close to gaining selection, so if they keep their head down and continue to play well they may be next in line if there’s an injury or if a player from their age-group pulls out.”
Hastie said given the abundance of rugby league talent throughout North Queensland, the Gladiators players representing Cairns will need to be on their game for the entirety of their three game schedules. “They need to know that they’re playing at a higher level now, so if they can remain focused I’m confident they’ll all play well,” he said. “It will also be great for the Gladiators when they return to club football, as they will have gained enormous experience playing with and against so many good players which should show in their performances for the rest of the season.” The North Queensland Championships will be held from June 7-9.