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AS teams around the world begin to assemble and prepare for the Rugby League World Cup in taking place later this month; junior rugby league players in West Brisbane are also preparing themselves for an international clash of their own.

Up and coming junior rugby league players from three West Brisbane junior rugby league clubs will test their skills when they face off in the augural Western Broncos Development cultural exchange match against Queensland Tonga and Queensland Papua New Guinea.

The games will take place on Saturday, October 19 at Arana Hills Rugby League Football Club, with an Under 14 and an Under 16 Western Broncos Junior Development team each taking on a Queensland Papua New Guinea Junior development team.

The football action will kick off at 10am and with the second game to start at 11.20am.

The Western Broncos is a partnership formed between Wests Panthers, Wests Mitchelton and Wests Arana Hills Football Clubs as well as the Brisbane Broncos, to provide junior players aged 12 to 16 development opportunities to improve their football and life skills.

Players representing all three clubs participated in selection trials at Arana and had to demonstrate the Western Broncos Development values of attitude, respect, work ethic, commitment and excellence to be eligible.

With senior sides no longer taking part in the Intrust Super Cup or Cyril Connell and Mal Meninga Cup competitions; the three club presidents identified the need to provide localised development pathway opportunities and the importance of such a program to their junior clubs long term sustainability.

All three junior clubs are doing their best to improve their capacity and capability, so they can continue to provide rugby league for local kids for years to come, squad manager Gavin Nuss said.

The Western Broncos Development program is simply one pillar of sustainability and its really positive to see all three clubs working closely in collaboration.

West Arana Hills Broncos Development Officer Col Henschell said the program will help to keep players at their junior club for as long as possible.

We have support from across all levels of the game for this great initiative with the Western Broncos Development program, Henschell said.

Our mission is to ensure our young players have a reason to continue to play football, and continue to develop their full potential while still playing with their friends at their local junior clubs.

The games on October 19 will culminate with a match between an Open Papua New Guinea side and an Army team from nearby Enoggera Barracks.

Who knows, maybe one day some of these junior Western Broncos Development players from West Brisbane will be preparing for the Rugby League World Cup themselves.

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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