The second annual Toowoomba Rugby League All Stars match will precede tomorrow’s Broncos v Titans NRL trial match at Clive Berghofer Stadium.
After the outstanding success of last year’s inaugural event, both the Broncos and Titans were quick to support the concept in the area.
The South West Queensland Emus have beefed up their side after learning from last year’s tussle.
Nathan Gaulton makes a return whilst Corey McGrady slots in nicely at five-eight to support Australian Universities halfback Jarred Lee.
Coach Tom Clevin believes he has a more experienced side with a larger forward pack than his counterparts, the TRL All Stars.
Both McGrady and Lee did not play for the Emus last year but Clevin comfortable they will certainly match what the All Stars have to offer.
The Emus’ fast men; Aaron Hooper, Denzel Burns and Charlie Adams should prove a headache for their opposition.
Add the calibre of TRL Webcke-Price medallist Aaron Cherry plus Nathan Gaulton and Luke Menhinett and the Emus will certainly be respected come kick off.
Gaulton will captain the side with McGrady named vice-captain.
The TRL All Stars side is coached and captained by former PNG representative and 2017 TRL premiership winning player Steve Franciscus.
Franciscus oversaw the sides at a trial against the West Brisbane Panthers at Arana Hills on Saturday.
The side has form players from last year’s final series as well as youth and experience.
Franciscus’ main goal is balance and aggression.
“I’ll be proud to see my side compete tomorrow against a strong Emus side,” Franciscus said.
“Each player has bought into the culture of what it takes to be part of the Clydesdales fabric and have earnt the right to represent their clubs and families.
“Unfortunately, we cannot pick everyone, but I congratulate those players who missed selection on their first-class attitude on and off the field.”
Franciscus appreciated the assistance TRL Chairman Brian Gilroy has offered, as well as the rest of his team; assistant coaches Chris McEwan and Bob Bennett and the selection panel.
The calibre of young players such as Nathan Bowering, Dylan Chown and Tom Boland amongst experienced players such as Matt Duggan, Jason Wardrop and Dale Perkins gives the side an excellent mix.
Veterans Ryan Duggan and Daniel Marsh get their chance with Dan Murphy adding recent Intrust Super Cup experience to the side.
Wardrop, who captained last year’s Queensland Rangers team, will share the leadership responsibilities with fellow Rangers teammate Matt Duggan.
Surprisingly, Pittsworth’s captain Daniel York and premiership-winning hooker Danny Wassell missed selection but irrespective, the team should start favourites.
Wayne Bennett’s brother, Bob, has been assisting Franciscus with the All Stars and may have family bragging-rights should his team win and his brother’s Broncos taste defeat against the Titans.
The South West Queensland Emus v TRL All Stars clash will kick-off at 4.30pm tomorrow, preceding the blockbuster NRL trial between the Broncos and Titans at 6.30pm.
South West Queensland Emus
1. Joshua Robinson (Oakey) 2. Denzel Burns (Valleys) 3. Michael Cochrane (Pittsworth) 4. Josh Stanton (Oakey) 5. Aaron Hooper (Highfields) 6. Corey McGrady (Valleys) 7. Jarred Lee (Highfields) 8. Luke Menhinett (Valleys) 9. Zac Stevens (Valleys) 10. Marc McGrady (Valleys) 11. Nathan Gaulton (Wattles) 12. Jesse Miles (Wattles) 13. Aaron Cherry (Oakey) 14. Blake Appo (Highfields) 15. Lachlan Berlin (Oakey) 16. Charlie Adams (Highfields) 17. Phil Waters (Gatton) 18. Tyson Mitchell (Highfields) 19. Robert Clevin (Brothers) 20. Tristan Passman (Souths) 21. Brayden Mitchell (Highfields)
Coach: Tom Clevin
TRL All Stars
1. Jackson Green (Wattles) 2. Billy Jackwitz (Gatton) 3. Dylan Taylor (Dalby) 4. Zac Morris (Dalby) 5. Dylan Chown (Valleys) 6. Mitch Taylor (Dalby) 7. Matt Duggan (Wattles) 8. Jason Wardrop (Dalby) 9. Ben Sullivan (Warwick) 10. Xavier Manley (Dalby) 11. Mick Bloomfield (Warwick) 12. Ryan Duggan (Wattles) 13. Dale Perkins (Wattles) 14. Tom Boland (Dalby) 15. Mick Pearson (Wattles) 16. Allan Morris (Gatton) 17. Ty Gardner (Wattles) 18. Chris Wilkes (Dalby) 19. Daniel Marsh (Gatton) 20. Nathan Bowering (Valleys) 21. Dan Murphy (Warwick)
Coach: Steve Fransiscus