Three young guns killing it in the National Rugby League - Tino Fa'asuamaleaui, Tom Gilbert and Darryn Schonig - are only three of 17 phenomenally talented players who donned XXXX Queensland Residents jerseys in 2019.
The 2019 Residents team was one filled with superbly skilled players; many have gone on to make waves in the rugby league world since beating New South Wales in last year's clash.
What have the 18 players named in the squad been up to? Where are they now?
XXXX Queensland Residents
Zac Santo – Townsville Blackhawks
Santo, at the conclusion of the 2019 Intrust Super Cup season, packed his bags and headed to France to play for XIII Limouxin, the Limoux Grizzlies. Santo played 14 games before returning to Australia in March. The talented fullback, 27, plans to head back to France in December for another season abroad.
Richard Kennar – Wynnum Manly Seagulls / Brisbane Broncos
The skilled 25-year-old winger played for the Seagulls in Round 1 of Cup this year before it was cancelled due to the COVID-19 crisis. Kennar, who spent time at Storm and South Sydney Rabbitohs before playing for Residents last year, has since played five games for the Broncos and scored three tries.
Delouise Hoeter – Wynnum Manly Seagulls
Hoeter was part of the Seagulls' 2019 Cup grand final side that went down to Burleigh Bears. The 26-year-old centre played in the grand final re-match in Round 1 of Cup this year. Hoeter is playing rugby union for the Surfers Paradise Dolphins this year and hopes to return to the Seagulls for the 2021 Cup season.
Connor Broadhurst – Norths Devils
The gifted 26-year-old played for the Devils in Round 1 of the 2020 Cup season. Broadhurst decided to have the year off rugby league when the competition was cancelled. "I've never missed a season since I first started at five years old," Broadhurst lamented, adding he had been training hard, including boxing, with the view of returning to rugby league next year.
Izaia Perese – Redcliffe Dolphins / Brisbane Broncos
The super talented 23-year-old, who was named in the 2019 Cup team of the year, played two games for the Broncos last year before being stood down by the NRL club in February. The former Queensland Reds star has since signed with French Top 14 club Aviron Bayonnais and has been training hard abroad since mid-July. The season is due to begin in September.
Josh Cleeland – Ipswich Jets
The 29-year-old, who skippered the Residents team in 2019, played for the Jets in Round 1 of the 2020 Cup season, getting three goals and one try assist. With no rugby league this year, Cleeland has been working and training hard, with the view of returning to the game he loves next year. "I am pretty keen to get the boots back on," Cleeland said.
Sam Scarlett – Wynnum Manly Seagulls
The gun half played for the Seagulls in Round 1 of the 2020 Cup season. The 26-year-old is taking the year off rugby league and instead, training hard, "getting myself ready for 2021 with Wynnum".
Nat Neale – Ipswich Jets
Neale, the 'chicken pesto pasta prop', was named Jets' best and fairest Cup player at the end of the 2019 season. The 31-year-old played for the Jets in Round 1 of the 2020 Cup season. Neale, when the season was cancelled, decided not to play rugby league this year. Instead, he focused on "being a dad and working". "Maybe one more year (next year), just have to wait and see," Neale added.
Mitch Cronin – Wynnum Manly Seagulls
Cronin captained the Seagulls in the 2019 Cup grand final and played in Round 1 of the 2020 season before tragically passing away in April. Cronin was one of the most talented and versatile players in Cup, playing 116 games in the competition. His consistent performances saw him represent the Residents across four consecutive years following his debut in 2016.
Mitch Cronin: Forever a gun
Corey Jensen – Townsville Blackhawks / North Queensland Cowboys
Jensen, who played 17 games for the Blackhawks in 2019, has appeared for the Cowboys three times in 2020 off the bench, making a total of 52 tackles with 89.9 per cent efficiency. Jensen has been training hard with the view of getting more starts for the Cowboys.
Keenan Palasia – Wynnum Manly Seagulls / Brisbane Broncos
Palasia lined up for Wynnum Manly in the 2019 Cup grand final and was elevated to the Broncos top 30 squad for 2020. The young gun lined up twice for the Broncos in 2019 before injuring his knee during 2020 pre-season and undergoing surgery. Palasia worked hard in rehab and is now available to play for the Broncos. "I'm preparing for the pre-season and 2021 season now," Palasia said.
Temone Power – Townsville Blackhawks
The 25-year-old second rower, who hails from Bowen, played for the Blackhawks in Round 1 of the 2020 Cup season before it was cancelled. He is currently back in Bowen working and caring for his new baby. Power has not decided what 2021 looks like for him.
Tom Gilbert – Townsville Blackhawks / North Queensland Cowboys
The 20-year-old wrecking ball, after playing for Residents, went on to vice-captain the Queensland Under 20 side. Gilbert, who took out Cup Rookie of the Year and was named in the team of the year, played for the Blackhawks in Round 1 of the 2020 Cup season and has since played seven games for the Cowboys.
Christian Hazard – Tweed Seagulls
Hazard made the move from the Seagulls to Souths Logan Magpies after last year's season and played in Round 1 of Cup this year before the season was cancelled due to COVID-19. Hazard then returned home to Taree and has taken the year off rugby league. Hazard said he was keen to see what 2021 brought.
Tino Fa'asuamaleaui – Sunshine Coast Falcons / Melbourne Storm
Fa'asuamaleaui, after playing for Residents, played for the Queensland Under 20 side, AUS PM XIII, Junior Kangaroos and Samoa. The towering 20-year-old has also lined up twice for the Storm in NRL this year and scored one try, catching the eye of Maroons coach Kevin Walters, who is impressed by his "exciting and brilliant work".
Brett Greinke – Easts Tigers
The Tigers club captain ruptured his achilles one month into 2020 pre-season training and underwent surgery. The talented 26-year-old is having the year off rugby league to "get it right" and will no doubt be back in orange and black in 2021. "I have just been busy with work, physio and dance," Greinke said.
Darryn Schonig – Sunshine Coast Falcons / Melbourne Storm
Schonig signed with Storm in June last year after solid performances with the Falcons and Residents. The powerful 24-year-old prop has appeared twice for the Storm this year and does not look like taking a backwards step.
Darryn Schonig - Absolute weapon
Nathan Watts - Redcliffe Dolphins
Watts, who was 18th man for the Residents in 2019, played for the Dolphins in Round 1 of the 2020 Cup competition. The barnstorming 23-year-old signed up with Brighton Roosters after the cancellation of the Cup season and is playing in the In Safe Hands Cup competition in Brisbane. "It's good to get back out there and play some footy," Watts said.