The annual Outback Junior Muster kicks off today in Longreach, 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 in 2019, two Northern and Southern Outback teams will face off for the first time at the carnival, with both respective sides eyeing off a place in the inaugural Under 16 Girls Outback team.
Joining the existing Under 14 boys and girls and Under 16 boys divisions, all participants will again have the opportunity to learn more about the Queensland Police Service with the force being heavily involved in the carnival, promoting the benefits for young people in Outback areas to join the Police Force.
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.
"Last year was special with the Under 14 girls being the first females to participate and its equally exciting this year to add the Under 16 girls to the carnival.”
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," Crow said.
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 dinner on tonight – 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 29 and 30.
LIVE STREAM: Outback Junior Muster
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 Girls||Southern Outback v Northern Outback|
|12.30pm||Under 16 Boys||Southern Outback v Northern Outback|
|1.30pm||Under 14 Girls||Northern Outback v Southern Outback|
|2.30pm||Under 14 Boys||Northern Outback v Southern Outback|
|3.30pm||Under 16 Girls||Northern Outback v Southern Outback|
|4.30pm||Under 16 Boys||Northern Outback v Southern Outback|