The annual Outback Junior Muster kicks off this Saturday, May 19 in Blackall, with excitement building and representative jerseys on the line as players and staff travel extraordinary distances to take part.
A highlight for rural Queensland footy, the Junior Muster features some of the bush's best junior talent, all vying for a spot in the Queensland Outback junior teams.
As an added bonus, the Queensland Police Service Rugby League team will take on the Western Ringers followed by the local derby between the Blackall Magpies and Ilfracombe Scorpions.
For the last few years, the QPS have been heavily involved in promoting the benefits for young people in Outback areas to join the Police Force and this year will be no different.
QRL Central Region (Division) Education and Wellbeing Manager Dave Faiumu will also be in attendance to speak on several issues confronting those who live in Outback areas.
QRL Outback Committee Chairman Danny McGuire believes carnivals like this keep the flame alive in the Outback.
"The players love the experience as do the coaches and volunteers that attend," McGuire said.
"This year is somewhat special as it's the first for females at the carnival seeing two under 14 sides compete.
"Current Queensland and Australian Women's captain Stephanie Hancock will attend and is looking forward to undertaking the Outback Under 14 girls coaching role.
"Her experience not only as a Jillaroo but as a servicing police officer will be invaluable for these girls."
QRL Outback Committee Coordinator Rob Crow said players are set to attend from all over the place, both north and south, just to take part in the greatest game of all.
"The distances travelled to attend the carnival is remarkable show of love for rugby league and it is all part of what makes the Outback Junior Muster so special," said Crow.
If their journeys to the carnival weren't motivating enough, the prospect of representing Outback Queensland will encourage the players even more.
The teams will be announced at the Outback Junior Muster Carnival Dinner on Saturday night – along with the presentation of the Arthur Beetson Shield to the winning region.
The Outback junior teams will then head to the Glyn Rees City / Country Cultural Exchange at the Sunshine Coast on June 30 and July 1.
In a first for the Muster, all games will be live scored here.
Also in a first, all games from 1pm will be live streamed on the QRL Outback Rugby League Facebook page.
OUTBACK JUNIOR MUSTER DRAW
|9.30am||Under 14 Girls||Southern Outback v Northern Outback|
|10.30am||Under 14 Boys||Southern Outback v Northern Outback|
|11.30am||Under 16 Boys||Southern Outback v Northern Outback|
|1pm||Under 14 Girls||Northern Outback v Southern Outback|
|2pm||Under 14 Boys||Northern Outback v Southern Outback|
|3pm||Under 16 Boys||Northern Outback v Southern Outback|
|4pm||Men's||Queensland Police Service v Western Ringers|
|6pm||Men's||Blackall Magpies v Ilfracombe Scorpions|