THIS year’s Connell and Meninga Cup seasons commence on the weekend of March 1-2.
Eight south-east teams will contest Pool A in both competitions, while seven teams – the majority from Central and Northern Queensland – will take part in Pool B.
The top two teams from each of the Pools will progress to the finals commencing on April 26-27. The State Finals are scheduled for May 3-4, with the National Finals on May 17-18.
Established in 2009 – the Cyril Connell Cup and Mal Meninga Cup competitions were set up to help protect the future of young Queensland players and to provide a direct pathway to higher playing honours.
Taking their name from icons of the game of rugby league in Queensland; the Under 16 and Under 18 competitions provide opportunities for the state’s best young talent, from the Gold Coast to Cairns and further north.
Many players have gone on to play in the Intrust Super Cup and NYC/NRL, along with Queensland representative teams.
Last year, the Under 16 Cyril Connell Cup was won by the Norths Devils, who beat the Easts Tigers 44-6 in the State Final. However, the Devils weren’t able to repeat the dose in the National Final, falling 30-28 to the Parramatta Eels in Sydney.
The Redcliffe Dolphins defeated Gold Coast White 44-16 in the Under 18 State Final to clinch the Meninga Cup. The Balmain Tigers prevailed in the National Final, beating the gallant Dolphins 24-12.