THE Yarrabah Seahawks will welcome back two of their own this weekend when former juniors Hezron Murgha and Noel Underwood return to Jilara Oval.
The pair will be travelling with the Northern Pride who are playing their Country Week match against the Souths Logan Magpies; making it the first time the venue has hosted an Intrust Super Cup game.
It has been a year of note especially for Murgha, who earlier this year signed a two-year deal to join the North Queensland Cowboys in the 2014 season.
His good form so far this season in the fullback position was also rewarded by his inclusion in the Queensland Residents team which took on NSW before State of Origin Game III last month.
Pride CEO Brock Schaefer said his club were happy to be playing a game at the Indigenous community for Country Week as they were “always keen to give back to the region” they represent.
“Yarrabah is a superb choice to host this match – the Yarrie people love their footy, and have put so much into the game in our region over the years,” Schaefer said.
“They’ve also restored junior rugby league in the community after a period without it and have provided some great players to the Pride in recent seasons.
“It’s great to be able to recognise the community’s ongoing contribution to rugby league.”
Yarrabah Seahawks coach Vincent Schreiber said it would be a proud moment for his club and community to see local players run out for the Pride on their home paddock.
“This game is a huge boost to our community and Hezzie and Noel are just two examples to our younger kids that if they have the talent, they can play at this level too,” Schreiber said.
While Yarrabah will be northernmost venue of the Intrust Super Cup games this weekend, other regional centres throughout the state will also see some top-grade football played; including a return to rugby league stronghold Toowoomba.
Queensland Rugby League chairman Peter Betros said the Country Week Round, which was established last year, would provide an enormous boost for the code in regional areas.
“We’re very proud to be able to take the Intrust Super Cup to Yarrabah, Woodford and the Whitsundays for the first time,” Betros said.
“For the code to remain strong and vibrant at the highest level, we need healthy local competitions.
“You only have to look at the backgrounds of a host of XXXX Queensland Maroons players to get a gauge on how important country rugby league is to our code.”