Seven 13-year-olds in Under-15 squad for Junior Gold Cup
QUEENSLAND Country under-13 captain Ben Beatty wasn't to be intimidated by his older combatants, earning selection in the Central Queensland team to contest the inaugural Junior Gold Cup in 2014.
Beatty, 13, trialled on Sunday in typically hot Central Queensland conditions, but did enough to impress coach Ron Howell and earn his place in the 30-man squad.
Trialling at No.8 or flanker, Howell said the youngster, and six other 13-year-olds, would feature in the region's first foray in the national competition.
Joining Beatty in the squad were fellow 13-year-olds Theo Fourie, Garrett Smith, Jack Kearns, Ben Cornish, Harry Leerenveld and Ben Condon.
Howell said he was pleased with the make-up of his squad and was looking forward to working with the side later in the month.
"We've picked a squad and it's as strong a side as we could have here.
"There are a couple of new faces in there who caught us by surprise."
The CQ under-15 and 17 Junior Gold Cup sides will take part in their first training camp at Rockhampton Grammar School on November 30.
The camp will give Howell and under-17 coach Lachlan McMurtrie their first opportunity to work with their teams ahead of the season kick-off in February.
McMurtrie's under-17 manager and Blackwater A-grade coach Peter Webb was also impressed with the turn-out.
"It's very promising," he said.
The Junior Gold Cup competition was expected to feature 24 teams from throughout Australia.
Joining Central Queensland will be Gold Coast, Darling Downs, Sunshine Coast, Townsville and Cairns and four teams from Brisbane.
A New South Wales- based competition will include 10 more teams, while the Australian Capital Territory, Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria will make up the 24-team competition.
The Junior Gold Cup aims to provide players the foundation to push for higher-level representation, including Queensland and Australian under-20 teams, the Australian Sevens team and ultimately Super Rugby and the Wallabies.
Central Queensland 2014 Junior Gold teams
Under-15: Prynce Taugaela, Sam Long, Noel Rodger, Brendan Jones, Theo Fourie, Nick Crawford, Ronald Bon, Garrett Smith, Wayne Hawke, Jake Steere, Ben Beatty, Max Marshall, Watholyan Ahmat, Steven Williams, Jack Kearns, Halatoa Puafisi, Tom Lewis, Heath Clancey, Ben Cornish, Lachlan Scarpelli, Harry Leerentveld, Caleb Hackett, Christiaan Mostert, Jack Brown, Clayton Bohan, Ben Condon, Robert Newsome, Ray Elisala, Carwyn Moon, Jordan Young.
Under-17: Connor Christensen, Jacob Cheeseman, Robert Taylor, Jarrod Mabo, Alex Hopf, Germai Travallion, Justice Paitau, Isiah Turuva, Alex Kerswell, Tom Clarke, Joshua Crone, Harry Marshall, Justin Turner, Derome Mafi, Rye Steel, Kyle Glover, Lachlan Howell, Stephan Tregaskis, Connor Tansey, Caleb Tull, Creeden Weir, Ieuan Fuller, Maia Raihi, Linden Leishman, Jayden Congoo, Ben Graving, Jack Willis, Jeremy McVinish, Kiko Nasio, Samukie Gaiden.