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Tigers to spark QLD in Sunday's Uni challenge

Brisbane Easts hooker Chris Ostwald will be chasing a rare rugby league hat-trick and a possible trip to South Africa at end of the year if Queensland University can again knock over arch rivals NSW on Sunday.

The annual Universities clash will be played at St Mary's at 1pm Sunday, with the players heading out to ANZ Stadium after the game to support Queensland in the second Harvey Norman State of Origin showdown.

Ostwald, who's been part of the last two interstate victories over the Blues, will captain Queensland, hoping to celebrate a trifecta alongside Easts teammate and University rookie, Brayden Torpy.

The pair make up half of the Maroons' spine, with Ostwald playing hooker and Torpy shifting from his No.7 role at the Tigers to play fullback.

The Queensland University side, coached by the experienced Gary O'Brien, contains a smattering of Intrust Super Cup players

Both Ostwald and Torpy believe that will only enhance their chances of getting on the plane to South Africa for a three-Test series in October.

"There are a few of the boys back again this year but there's a lot of new faces as well, so it is a matter of us gelling in the short time we have together before Sunday," the 23-year-old from Gayndah in central Queensland told QRL Media.

"Some of us, like myself and Brayden, and a few of the other boys have played a bit together before so having those combinations helps a lot."

Torpy and Ostwald and a few other members of the squad including Harry Pondekas, came through the Broncos Colts system, so they have played enough together to quickly gel.

"That really helps training run smoothly and the team to come together quickly, which is important with such limited time to prepare," said Torpy.

The University side is drawn from fulltime university students, students doing apprenticeships and also TAFE-related courses.

Ostwald -- who is in his final year studying Education at Sunshine Coast University, packs a lot into his week.

He works as a part-time fitness trainer most mornings, does some labour work when he can get it, trains and plays, and also crams his university studies around it all.

"It keeps me pretty busy. The footy gets you away from work and study and things like this (camp) help you enjoy your footy again," Ostwald said.

"It can get pretty stressful at Intrust Cup level if you've had a few losses, so these camps are really good to refresh the mind.

Rugby league flows through Ostwald veins.

"My family is born and bred rugby league so I'm just following in the footsteps of my brother and my old man," he said.

He bases his game around his defence in the middle, but rarely misses an opportunity to dash out of dummy-half for a gallop.

"I like to play off the cuff and if I see something I just go for it and hope the boys are with me," he said.

"I like to back my defence, but I am also a heads-up player in attack."

The lure of playing in South Africa is something Ostwald admits is very attractive.

"Any opportunity you get the throw on and Australian jersey or travel, especially to a country like South Africa, would be an unreal experience," he said.

Meanwhile Torpy said beating NSW "at any level" was always enjoyable, even at marbles.

"We need to get a good win over NSW and get as many Queensland players into the Australian side as we can to go on that tour together (to South Africa)," said Torpy whose only previous game for Queensland was a victory in the under-18s clash.

While it is great to have several experienced Intrust Super Cup players in the team, Torpy said the boys from other competitions were putting their heads down and working very hard to meet the standards set by coach O'Brien.

Torpy has his name on a special honour board in the Tiger's clubhouse for playing all his junior football at Langlands Park.

"My old man Brian is the CEO at Easts as well, so we have a bit of a family background with the club.

"It's like home."

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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