AIMING HIGH: St Brendan's students and First XIII players Jeremiah Naawi and James Busby set their sights high as they celebrate past rugby league stars from the college.
AIMING HIGH: St Brendan's students and First XIII players Jeremiah Naawi and James Busby set their sights high as they celebrate past rugby league stars from the college. CONTRIBUTED

Star duo keen to maintain St Brendan's proud tradition

RUGBY LEAGUE: If a picture paints a thousand words, then the honour wall in St Brendan's library speaks volumes about the college's proud rugby league tradition.

As State of Origin fever builds, the St Brendan's community looks on with pride at a significant alumni list of past and current Origin stars.

Baralaba boy and former boarder Corey Oates (senior 2011) will line up for Origin duties for the second year in a row, while 2015 seniors Tom Skinner and Harry Grant will take their place in the Queensland under-20 team to play in the curtain-raiser at Suncorp Stadium tonight.

Corey Oates scores during the second State of Origin at Suncorp Stadium last year.
Corey Oates scores during the second State of Origin at Suncorp Stadium last year. DAVE HUNT

St Brendan's library is a testament to the college's "Queenslander” heritage with a half-St Brendan's, half-Maroons jersey taking pride of place alongside school photos of its rugby league super stars, including Oates, Matt Scott, Paul Bowman, Julian O'Neill, PJ Marsh, Ben Hunt, Jake Granville and Dave Taylor.

Two new rising stars hoping to follow in their esteemed footsteps are Year 11 day student James Busby and Year 12 boarder Jeremiah Naawi.

The talented teenagers have just returned from the Queensland under-18 rugby league trials held in Brisbane and both are aiming for careers in the NRL when they complete their schooling.

They will tune into tonight's Origin opener daring to dream about the possibility of one day donning a mighty Maroons jersey.

First XIII coach Terry Hansen said Origin time was a special time at St Brendan's and served as an inspiration to the young charges coming through the ranks of the successful rugby league nursery.

Despite the Blues starting as favourites, Hansen is confident Queensland will get the job done even without the experience of Scott and Johnathan Thurston.

"I think we're very good at being the underdogs so I'm quietly confident we can win,” he said.

"The difference will be the Queensland spirit and the way they play for each other.

"I'm not sure that NSW can emulate that as much as they think they can.

"I think the score will be 23-18 to Queensland, with Cooper Cronk kicking a field goal.”



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