Progress the focus in Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup

With the support of a new sponsor behind it, the Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup is set to showcase emerging talent like never before.

Featuring 14 teams from across the state, the competition – while only a relatively short six weeks in total in the regular season – is a proven environment to develop players to move to the next level.

David Fifita in action for the Souths Logan Magpies in last year's Mal Meninga Cup state final against Norths Devils.
David Fifita in action for the Souths Logan Magpies in last year's Mal Meninga Cup state final against Norths Devils.

While not many participants are likely to follow in the phenomenal footsteps of last year’s most famous graduate David Fifita who began the year in the Under 18 competition and finished the season in the Brisbane Broncos NRL side – it is a great competition for rising young players in the game to test themselves.

One of those talents is young Townville hooker Adrian Trevilyan.

Named to make his Mal Meninga Cup debut with the Blackhawks against Ipswich on Sunday, the Burdekin junior is one of many players to watch in the competition this season.

Speaking to QRL Media earlier this year at the Emerging Origin Under 18 camp, Trevilyan, who at the time was the only player in the squad not signed by an NRL club when he was selected, said he was hoping this season (which started with his time in camp) would be one filled with learning.

“Last year I played with Brothers and this year I am in the Townsville Under 18 squad,” he said during the January camp," he said. 

“I have just been training with Bears and Townville ... (at camp) I’m just being a sponge at the moment.

“(This camp is a lot about) understanding the Queensland way ... I love how they always keep talking about fighting (to make the next level), as that’s something I have done my whole career, keep fighting. I like hard work.”

Adrian Trevilyan during Emerging Origin Under 18 training camp.
Adrian Trevilyan during Emerging Origin Under 18 training camp.

Having since been signed up by the Cowboys, Trevilyan also said he would aim to share what he had been practising during camp with his club and school team mates to help “bring them up to speed” on what game pace they needed to play at so they can “be better than the other team and play at a better pace”.

A talented athlete who used to play used to play cricket, Australian Rules and basketball  as a junior, he was also part of the Kirwan Bears team that progressed to the state final of the NRL Schoolboys Cup (which was eventually won by Palm Beach Currumbin) last year.

He was joined at the Emerging Origin camp by Blackhawks team mate and prop forward Vaughn Kim and they will both be aiming to help spark the Blackhawks side when they travel to the home of the Ipswich Jets on Sunday afternoon in the closing match of Round 1.

The side have a new coach this year and are being guided by former Cowboys and Maroons star Matt Bowen

Round 1 kicks off today (Saturday, March 9) at Langland Park, with the Easts Tigers hosting the Mackay Cutters, while defending premiers Souths Logan Magpies will be at home at to the CQ Capras on Sunday morning.

>> See the full team lists for Round 1 here > Auswide Mal Meninga Cup Round 1 teams