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Campagnolo embraces change of scenery

Life is now a little different for Jack Campagnolo, since he decided to pack up his life in North Queensland to start a new chapter in the southeast with Wynnum Manly Seagulls.

A Tully product through and through, Campagnolo “trucked it down” to Brisbane late last year, and while it was a tough decision to leave Northern Pride, the skilled half is enjoying the change of scenery.  

“I was a really big decision to move to Brisbane, I have a really big family base up in Tully, just south of Cairns, and it wasn’t an easy decision,” Campagnolo said.

“The lifestyle up there was definitely a big part that I had to sacrifice in moving here.

“But I am glad I have done it and I am settling in really well... so I am looking forward to (the year ahead).

“I moved down for the start of pre-season last year… (I) finished up there, finished working up there and trucked it down in me ute with my old boy.

“(Now), I live on the west and do nearly an hour trip to training… (but) I lived in Tully when I was playing for the Pride anyways, so I was used to doing two hours for training or games, I was used to being in the car.

“The traffic (here) is definitely different; I grew up with one set of traffic lights at home and here it’s a set every 100 metres.”

Jack Campagnolo in action for Northern Pride. Photo: QRL
Jack Campagnolo in action for Northern Pride. Photo: QRL

This season, Campagnolo is one of a handful of new faces at the club, with the Seagulls rewarding a number of their young players with promotion into their Intrust Super Cup squad.

Campagnolo – who is an electrician by trade and has established a new air conditioning business – is keen to earn his spot in the halves and play alongside the likes of XXXX Queensland Residents halfback Sam Scarlett.

“I think coming off the back off their grand final berth in 2019, (the Seagulls) still have a good base squad from then, most of the blokes have hung around,” Campagnolo said.

“So all us new guys are sort of filling the gaps, and their Brisbane Rugby League team has done well for the past couple of years, so the blokes playing in that  have come from winning environment which has been really good, so they bring that as well the younger blokes.”

After the cancellation of the Intrust Super Cup season last year, Campagnolo was able to still play some football and featured in one of the Northern Pride teams in the Lightning Challenge. However, he also made the most of his time away from football.

“I actually got to do some things, like go camping and stuff with good friends, go explore things that I can’t really do on weekends, do a lot more spear fishing at home, so that was the good side of it,” Campagnolo said.

“But (I was) missing footy... I think it adds a bit more hunger to this year, not playing last year.”

Jack Campagnolo and team mates celebrate Italy's Rugby League World Cup qualification. Photo: supplied
Jack Campagnolo and team mates celebrate Italy's Rugby League World Cup qualification. Photo: supplied

As well as pushing to make his mark in a new team, this season, another incentive to play well is the lure of a Rugby League World Cup appearance with Italy if the tournament is able to go ahead as planned later this year.

“I would love to play in the World Cup this year... that would be a dream,” Campagnolo said.

“We played in the World Cup qualifiers two years ago, played over in Italy, which was a dream, I got a bit emotional singing the anthem – I have got two nonnos and two nonnas who are full Italian so … (I am) quite passionate.

“It was really fun, I met some great guys over there and picked up a bit of Italian speaking too.

“If I can squeeze myself in there somehow, play some good footy here, that would be a dream.”

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Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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