Queensland Rugby League has today confirmed a key change to the representative schedule along with the appointment of Aaron Zimmerle as XXXX Queensland Residents coach for the annual clash against New South Wales.
After guiding Tweed Heads Seagulls into last season’s Intrust Super Cup semi-finals, Zimmerle got the nod to take the reins from Northern Pride premiership-winning coach Jason Demetriou, who steered Queensland to a 24-16 victory in 2014.
Queensland’s quest for back-to-back victories will take place on home soil, with the Residents match to be broadcast live on Channel 9 from a south east venue on Sunday, May 3.
The game has traditionally been played as a curtain-raiser to the third State of Origin match in July, but will now feature prominently on rugby league’s national representative weekend.
“The new scheduling fits in really well with what we’re trying to achieve out of the Elite Pathways Review,” QRL Competitions Manager Jamie O’Connor said today. (VIDEO)
“Ultimately, the code is striving to raise the profile of the Intrust Super Cup and the NSW Cup, two genuine pathway competitions to the National Rugby League.
“By moving this representative match away from the Origin program, it provides fans with an opportunity to experience the excitement and passion from a Cup venue and gives thousands of others the chance to watch it live on television.”
O’Connor said the venue would be announced after consultation with a number of Intrust Super Cup clubs.
Intrust Super Cup players will have eight rounds to impress Queensland selectors for spots in the prestigious team, which in recent times has unearthed Maroons Origin stars Matt Gillett and Daly Cherry-Evans.
Zimmerle, a proud Queenslander with coaching experience with Palm Beach Currumbin and State Schoolboy teams, said he was honoured to be given the responsibility of preparing this year’s Residents team for such an important contest.
“It’s a great stepping stone for our players to showcase their ability, particularly with the NSW side always having a large amount of NRL contracted players,” Zimmerle said.
“2014 saw the likes of Blake Leary, Shaun Nona and Todd Murphy secure NRL contacts after displaying excellent form for their clubs and the Queensland Residents team.”
Zimmerle will be assisted by 2014 Queensland Rangers coach Paul Lowe, Ipswich-based manager Darren Lingard and highly-regarded trainers Geoff Eggert and Jim Wilson.
Queensland representative team appointments –
XXXX Queensland Residents:
Coach: Aaron Zimmerle (Tweed Heads Seagulls)
Assistant Coach: Paul Lowe
Manager: Darren Lingard
Trainers: Geoff Eggert, Jim Wilson
Queensland Under 18:
Coach: Anthony Seibold (Melbourne Storm)
Assistant Coach: Brad Henderson
Manager: Richard Duff
Trainers: Graham Adams, Andrew Horcicka
Queensland Under 16:
Coach: Kurt Richards (Brisbane Broncos)
Assistant Coaches: Mick Roberts, Craig Grauf
Manager: Murray Hurst
Trainers: Gerald Thompson, Craig Harsant
Under 18 Maroon:
Coach: Steve Sheppard (North Queensland Cowboys)
Assistant Coach: Michael Baker
Manager: Dave Gatt
Trainer: Andrew Horcicka
Under 16 Maroon:
Coach: Craig Grauf (Norths Devils)
Assistant Coach: Mark Ross
Manager: Gary Wegert
Trainer: Craig Harsant
XXXX Queensland Rangers:
Coach: Mark Shipway (Easts Tigers)
Assistant Coach: TBC
Manager: Chris Franklin
Trainers: Mark Winton, Matt Anderton
Coach: Brad Donald
Assistant Coach: Adrian Vowles
Manager: Brendan Bowers
Trainer: Robyn Tyler