This year's Allan Langer Trophy open schoolboy’s competition has been launched at the home of the Brisbane Broncos, with proud school team representatives on hand to showcase an exciting new chapter in the contest.
The competition will expand to eight teams in 2021, with the new initiative aimed at driving future growth in the schoolboy player pathways, as well as providing further opportunities to new and emerging secondary schools that wish to participate.
The two schools that qualified to be part of this year's contest to join the incumbent teams were Coombabah State High School and Mabel Park SHS, with the Logan school winning their qualifying grand final against Redcliffe SHS earlier this month.
The launch for the competition which will kick off on June 2, was held at the Clive Berghofer training complex to help highlight the more than 20 years of support the Broncos had provided to the Queensland Secondary Schools Rugby League, as well as the many competitions they financially support throughout Queensland.
The Allan Langer Trophy was originally established in 2001, to help make Queensland-based secondary schools more competitive at a national level.
The eight schools that will take part in this year's competition are: Marsden SHS, Palm Beach Currumbin SHS, St Mary’s College (Toowoomba), Keebra Park SHS, Wavell SHS, Ipswich SHS, Mabel Park SHS and Coombabah SHS.
For St Mary's captain Xavier Va'a, it was good to be able to represent his school as part of the expanded competition.
"The launch today was a great experience, it was great to meet all the other captains from their schools," Va'a said.
"It is a privilege to represent and lead St Mary’s in the Allan Langer Trophy; against the best rugby league schools in south east Queensland."
Va'a - who also captained the Western Mustangs Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup team this season - said he and his side were looking forward to the experiences ahead.
"It is always tough playing against some of the big names in the competition, but our team is willing for the challenge," Va'a said.
"This will be my third year in the Langer Trophy competition, I am looking forward to another year leading from the front.
"This year will be special not only because this is my last year, but I’ll get to share the field with my brother, De La Salle.
"We haven’t played together since primary school days."
The man himself, former Queensland Maroons and Brisbane Broncos legend Allan Langer, attended the launch and met with the players, with many of the school’s principals, deputy principals, coaches and the captains of each respective team also in attendance.
Other special guests present, included school rugby league stalwart Phil Hall, former Broncos players Mick Hancock, David Stagg and Matt Gillett.
The players who represented their schools on stage at the launch were: Tyrell Waaka-Rhind (Wavell), Tim Sielaff-Burns (Coombabah), Xavier Va'a (St Mary's College), Blake Mozer (Keebra ), Kulikefu Finefeuiaki (Ipswich), Tom Weaver (Palm Beach Currumbin), Mustafa Kaya (Mabel Park) and Chris Faagutu (Marsden).