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Retired Cowboys Ray Thompson speaks to players as a part of the NRL's welfare program. Photo: QSSRL

The state's best 15-year old school rugby league players are in Townsville this weekend to represent their region, and play for an opportunity to represent Queensland in the National Championships in June.

Teams from the Capricorn Coast, Wide Bay, North West and Far North Queensland are among those participating in a carnival that has been running since 1982 and seen the likes of Darren Lockyer, Jason Taumalolo, Michael Morgan and Wendell Sailor come through its ranks.

The event kicked off yesterday and Carnival convener Dave Ackers said the teams were in for a lot of football over the weekend.

"It kicked off at 9.30 [Thursday] morning with an official opening ceremony at 8.30am. The state final will be played on Sunday at 12.55pm," Ackers said.

"Each team will play four games, we've got grading games [Thursday] and then [Friday] we'll start with the state quarter final and then on Saturday, there will be state semi finals and then we'll have the top two playing in the state finals."

Opening ceremony for Under 15s Queensland championships held on Thursday.
Opening ceremony for Under 15s Queensland championships held on Thursday. ©Blackhawks Media

Each game will run for 50 minutes and are divided into halves.

The best players in the tournament will have an opportunity to play at an even higher level later in the year.

"It's the highest level of footy they can play as a 15 year old in Queensland, and 40 players will be selected to play for Queensland and go to the national carnival," Ackers said.

"The Queensland Maroon and Queensland White teams will contest the Australian championship and vie for an Australian Under 15s schoolboy jersey , and that will be held in Mackay in June."

As for this week's carnival, from the games already played - a few teams have shown what they're capable of going forward in what is sure to be a tightly contested carnival.

"The heavy weights are probably South Coast ... Capricornia had a good win and Darling Downs had a good win as well," Ackers said.

See the full draw here >> 2018_RLG15Q_FINAL_DRAW.docx.pdf

Results and live streams of matches can be viewed at the Queensland Schools 13-18 Facebook page.

Main Image: Former NRL Cowboys player Ray Thompson speaks to young participants at the carnival as a part of the NRL's welfare program.