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Gladstone's future looks bright

Nick Kossatch - The Gladstone Observer

Gladstone JRL
Action from the Gladstone juniors last year. PHOTO: Mike Richards (Gladstone Observer)

It all starts tonight and tomorrow morning in Gladstone and the future at junior level looks bright.

Literally hundreds of juniors will be kicking off tonight and tomorrow morning when Round 1 of the Gladstone and District Junior Rugby League starts.

Gladstone and District Junior Rugby League chairman Richard Duff said the numbers were well on the way to exceeding those from the middle of last year.

"We are currently just short on 1100 who have signed and we had 1125 juniors at June 30 last year,” Duff said.

"We are more than happy that the numbers will get higher.”

The Nines competition recently in Rockhampton was a positive factor in encouraging juniors to join league clubs in Gladstone, Calliope and Tannum Sands.

Duff said there was another contributing factor to the increase of junior players.

"There have been rule modifications where there will be a lot more opportunities for kids to get game time,” Duff said.

There will be less players on the field from the Under 6 to Under 9 levels.

The junior numbers are in contrast to the senior level as some men's teams have struggled in recent years.

"We had a lot of guys who have left town for work, but I'm over the moon with all the junior registrations,” Duff said.

The decision to establish an U18 competition was to make it easier for from Under 17s to transition to the U20s level.

"It was a numbers game at the end of the day and we've had to think ahead for the Under 20s and the Under 18s will help players be ready for Under 20s level,” Duff said.

"Some of the Under 18s will play Under 20s this year and some will play both.”

Duff said positions for the Under 13, Under 14 and Under 16 boys representative teams would be up for grabs in the next two weeks as well.

ROUND 1 FIXTURES

Today: Under 15, Under 16, Under 18 games on at 5.30pm, 6.40pm and 7.50pm at Briffney Creek Fields 1 and 2 and Calliope.

Tomorrow: Under 6 - Under 16 - First games from 8am. Final games at 1pm (Briffney 1) and 2.05pm (Calliope).

*This story first appeared on the Gladstone Observer website.