Two respected Intrust Super Cup premiership-winning captains will guide Queensland’s emerging Indigenous talent in 2019, with the QRL today confirming the appointments of Keiron Lander and Jardine Bobongie.
Lander, who led the Ipswich Jets to state and national titles in 2015, assumes the head coaching role of the Queensland Murri Under 16 team.
He will be assisted by Bobongie, who captained a Mackay Cutters team featuring NRL stars Michael Morgan and Jason Taumalolo to the 2013 Intrust Super Cup premiership.
Both men are leaders in their Indigenous communities and are highly respected by the rugby league fraternity for their on-field achievements.
Together, they played a combined total of 252 Intrust Super Cup games and have been involved in numerous professional rugby league systems.
Lander said he would draw on many of those experiences when he takes charge of the team for the representative game against NSW Koori early next year.
"From my perspective, I grew up in the outback (Quilpie), where there’s not much footy; and some of these young players are from the same background,” Lander said.
“It’s about giving them an opportunity to experience the rugby league pathway.
“But it’s not just about rugby league … it’s a great cultural experience as well.
“We’re all about getting our players to become better men and making their families proud.”
The Murri Under 16 squad will be selected following this month’s Arthur Beetson Foundation Murri Carnival at Redcliffe.
The Queensland Murri pathway has a rich history of producing NRL players, with Ashley Taylor, David Fifita and Brenko Lee among the list of recent graduates.
Staff appointments – Queensland Murri Under 16:
Head Coach: Keiron Lander
Assistant Coach: Jardine Bobongie
Team Manager: Gary Halliday
Head Trainer: Ronald Tasker
Sports Trainer: Martin McKittrick
Team Mentor: Leo Dynevor