Clever little half ready to 'have a real good crack'

Toowoomba talent Brayden Paix is a "clever little half" likely to star for the Queensland Under 16 Country side on Sunday. 

Country coach Matt Church said he was looking for the St Mary's Year 11 student, who played for the Central Crows at the state championships, to "guide the team around and put his best foot forward". 

"He's a clever little half," Church said. 

"I've worked with him in the 15s program last year and at the start of this year with the QAS 16s."

Church said he was confident Brayden would step up against the Queensland Under 16 City team because "he's just that kind of kid". 

Brayden, who plays for Souths in Toowoomba, said it was "a real good privilege to come in and play with all of the top boys in our age group". 

The 16-year-old said it was "pretty exciting" to be selected given he had seen what his big brother Cory Paix, who is contracted to the Brisbane Broncos and played for the Redcliffe Dolphins in the Intrust Super Cup this year, had achieved since being selected in various representative teams. 

Cory Paix. Photo: QRL Media
Cory Paix. Photo: QRL Media

"I've seen what he's done and I hope I can do the same," Brayden said. 

"He's been a real good role model for me. He just told me to have a real good crack."

Brayden said he expected Sunday's game to be "very physical" from the start. 

"I want to lead the side around and hopefully win," Brayden said.  

The young gun said he was hopeful of making the Australian Schoolboys team next year and playing in the Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup competition. 

Cory Paix said there was no reason his brother - "a good lad" - could not excel in the game.

"He's a good little talent. He works hard in Toowoomba. He's going really well," Paix said. 

"I just watched the grand final recently in the Toowoomba comp and he seems to be doing all the little things right. I suppose my message for him is just to keep at it and don't give up on it."

Brayden Paix in camp. Photo: QRL Media
Brayden Paix in camp. Photo: QRL Media

Paix said he helped make his brother, three years his junior, the tough player he was with plenty of backyard footy playing during the years. 

"There was a lot of big tackles going on. I suppose I hurt him a fair bit and got a few smacks from mum and dad... it was just brotherly love," Paix laughed. 

"I got in the backyard a fair bit with him. I suppose I was only learning at the time - what I was learning in my age group, I would try and help him out with to better his game. He took it on board.

"He's a really good listener, so I encourage him to keep learning and take every bit of advice he can get from anyone. It's going to better his game in the future. He's plugging away really nicely so his future is looking pretty good if he sticks at it."

Paix said being selected for the Queensland Under 16 Country was "a good opportunity" for his brother. 

"It's awesome. When I was under 16 it was Queensland versus New South Wales so it's a bit unfortunate in that sense - you want to get a win over New South Wales, but with the Queensland, stuff it's a great opportunity for the young boys to learn and really take in and soak up the experience," Paix said.

"To put on any Queensland jersey is a great honour. I'm sure they'll go into camp and have a really good time and enjoy each other's company and come Sunday, they'll rip in and have a good crack.

"Go Queensland Country! Country boys, through and through."