MEN and women from across the state will assemble for the QRL State A Grade Carnival at Southport this weekend, but for two brothers it may feel like a game of backyard footy.
Brothers Billy and Jack Walters will line-up alongside one another after earning selection in the Poinsettias 19-man squad.
Remarkably, the Walters boys – the sons of Brisbane Broncos, Queensland and Australia legend Kevin – only crossed paths on the field for the first time last month.
Billy (Easts) and Jack (Normanby) went head-to-head in the Brisbane Rugby League.
“Yeah, the first time we played against each other was a month ago and that was lots of fun,” Billy explained.
“Now we get to play on the same team which is even better.”
However, he didn’t miss the opportunity to fire a quick jab at his sibling before the side’s first training session at Bishop Park on Monday night.
“We tried living together once and it didn’t work … he (Jack) knows I’ve got the bragging rights over him,” he joked.
The youngster played in last year’s carnival and went on to represent the XXXX Queensland Rangers – the state-wide A Grade representative side selected at the end of the weekend.
“It was a great weekend and got picked in the Rangers squad last year, so it was good fun,” he said, adding that playing two games in two days contributed to the challenge.
“I’m just a halfback, so it’s not too bad. I don’t have to do the barnstorming hit-ups or anything like that.
“But last year, two of three players didn’t back up for the second game with injuries so it can be tough.
“The experience last year was really good … great to meet boys from other teams.”
Billy went on to win the FOGS Cup premiership with Easts and made his Intrust Super Cup debut last month off the bench.
The playmaking utility is one of six Tigers in the squad, alongside Maeli Seve, Whetu Austin, Sam Bielefeld, Dwayne Craft and Brent Warr.
The Poinsettias, selected from players in the BRL, will meet squads from South East Queensland, Northern and Central Divisions at the two-day carnival.
Teams play two matches, with the winner decided via a points system.
The South East Queensland Men’s team is made up of players from the Gold Coast / Tweed Rugby League, Ipswich Rugby League and Brisbane Second Division competitions.
After dominating the Chairman’s Trophy, 11 players from the Gold Coast Vikings were selected, including Burleigh Bears outside backs Khan Ahwang and Jamie Anderson.
The Northern Marlins Men’s squad was picked straight out of Local League competitions and looks particularly strong this year. It comprises a number of players who have played at Intrust Super Cup level or are on the verge of selection in this competition.
The addition of Grant Rovelli (former Cowboys and Warriors NRL player) and Jardine Bobongie (former captain of the Mackay Cutters team) in 2015 adds some experience to a very talented young squad.
Following their successful inclusion into the carnival last year, Women’s teams from the three divisions will once again take part in this year’s event.
Both of Central Division’s teams were announced following the completion of the 47th Battalion staged at Roma last month.
The South East Queensland Women’s squad was selected following the conclusion of the SEQ Women’s Emerging Camp last month, while the Northern Women’s squad was selected from games played between Townsville and Mackay and Cairns and Cape with the four teams well represented in this year’s squad.
Day 1 – Friday, June 5
6.15pm (Women’s) South East Queensland v Central
Day 2 – Saturday, June 6
1.15pm (Women’s) Northern v Central
2.30pm (A Grade) South East Queensland v Northern
4.00pm (A Grade) Poinsettias v Central
Day 3 – Sunday, June 7
11.15am (Women’s) South East Queensland v Northern
12.30pm (A Grade) Northern v Poinsettias
1.50pm (A Grade) Central v South East Queensland