Redcliffe’s Dolphin Stadium will be the backdrop for this year’s annual NRL Development Cup, which features the two top Under 12 school sides from across Queensland in a battle to decide the best in the state.
Frenchville State School from Rockhampton will make the trip down to Brisbane this weekend to battle it out against Currumbin State School who join the competition’s final from the Gold Coast.
Frenchville enter the final for the third time in the past nine years, with their previous trips to the finals series coming in 2010 and 2014.
Falling just one weekend short of a finals appearance in 2018 with a narrow loss in the Northern final last year, the team have continued their brilliant form by being awarded Rockhampton’s junior team of the year.
Coordinator of the young Frenchville State School side Paul Fogwell said the players would be looking forward to a big adventure.
“The plane ride is a big thing for the kids, we want them to make amazing memories and this opportunity to play in a big stadium in front of a crowd will definitely be that,” Fogwell said.
The Central Queensland side come into the competition after wins against sides from across the Capricornia, including one against Queens Beach State School from Mackay that featured several young Queensland representatives.
The Frenchville State School rugby league coordinator Fogwell said his group of young players were being propelled to greatness by the support of their school community.
“Our school is a big rugby league school, we have great coaches coming through, we want to use rugby league as an incentive for the kids, so they are also able to remain focused on studying at such a young age,” Fogwell said.
“Our team is made up of both boys and girls, our girls last year won the Karyn Murphy Cup and are looking forward to coming back to Redcliffe for a new championship.”
Representing the south east of the state, Currumbin State School come into this weekend’s grand final full of confidence after a strong run through the Southern Queensland competition.
Tough games against Harrisfield State School and Algester State School were fought and won by Currumbin, before their biggest test against Banksia Beach State School in the Southern final produced a great game of young rugby league to propel Currumbin into this weekend's match at Dolphin Stadium.
Currumbin State School coach Jono Morgan said his side were brimming with excitement ahead of the weekend’s clash.
“Everyone here at the school and in the group are super excited, we have taken our season game by game and everything has fallen into place nicely for us at the end,” Morgan said.
Morgan said after his side took a trip to watch the Palm Beach Currumbin side compete in the National School Boy Cup final last year, his team were itching to make their return in 2019.
“After sitting and watching last season, our young players have been focused on making it to the big event ever since,” Morgan said.
“We want to thank the school community as a whole, because everyone has been so supportive of our team and we are hoping to have a great weekend and have fun on the day.”