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Townsville Blackhawks: Cup gains and losses for 2022

Townsville Blackhawks will boast some experienced new players this season in addition to their roster of local talent when they kick off their 2022 campaign against reigning premiers Norths Devils this weekend.

Hamilton Taia, a member of the 2021 grand final Hastings Deering Colts squad, and former Hastings Deering Colts talent Jack Johnson join Rugby League Townsville and Districts players Oscar Carter, Mitchell Grimes, John Cullen and Faron Morris in being added to the Hostplus Cup squad.

One of the players fans will be looking out for this season is former PNG Hunters and Wynnum Manly Seagulls speedster Edene Gebbie, who joined the club for pre-season in November last year.

Gebbie, who had previous NRL stints with South Sydney Rabbitohs and Wests Tigers, speaking to Townsville Blackhawks Media, said he was looking forward to getting out onto the field.

“It’s alright,” Gebbie said of the start of pre-season training with a smile.

“It’s not that bad, but it sometimes gets hard.

“I am looking forward for the season to start, I just want to play good (football), make the most of it and get back to the NRL.”


Edene Gebbie is back in 2022 after signing with Townsville & Districts Mendi Blackhawks. Revisit his breakout 2019 highlights 🤯

Posted by Hostplus Cup on Monday, January 10, 2022

Former Blackhawk Robert Lui has also returned to the club following a number of years in England’s Super League competition and he will add depth to the halves with the experienced Shaun Nona sidelined for the start of the season.

Two other fresh faces eager to impress in Townsville are forward recruits Kayleb Milne (main image) and Justin Frain.

Blackhawks operations manager Adrian Thomson described both players as major signings.

“We look for guys that we think will fit into our club and you know we did a fair bit of research I’ve got to say, and both guys came up trumps, so we’ve welcomed them with open arms,” Thomson said.

Milne had past stints in the Melbourne Storm and Cronulla Sharks systems and said he was hopeful of making his mark in the middle and earning a North Queensland Cowboys call-up through his Hostplus Cup performances.

“It’s good change, a new start, as well getting out of Sydney and just looking forward to it,” Milne said.

“I reckon I can bring a bit of aggression in defence. I like defending.

“I just want to get the boys on a roll, and I’ll do anything it takes.”

Frain faces some stiff competition to secure a spot in the back row for the Blackhawks, but the Balmain junior said he was up for the challenge and believed he could provide something extra on an edge.

“I feel like I can offer a bit of skill, some size and aggression, so that’s my main sort of thing to focus on,” Frain said.

Townsville’s Round 1 match against the Devils will take place on Sunday.

Catch the game on All Round 1 games are available live and free. 

Townsville Blackhawks gains and losses

Gains: Edene Gebbie (West Tigers), Kayleb Milne (Cronulla), Justin Frain (Ryde), Jack Johnson (Townsville Blackhawks Hastings Deering Colts), Rob Lui (Leeds), Hamilton Taia (Townsville Blackhawks Hastings Deering Colts), Oscar Carter (Rugby League Townsville and Districts), Mitchell Grimes (Rugby League Townsville and Districts), John Cullen (Rugby League Townsville and Districts), Faron Morris (Rugby League Townsville and Districts), Jaymon Moore (Mackay Cutters)

Losses: Sam Hoare (retired), Sione Lousi (retired), Kieran Quabba (work commitments), Sam Martin-Savage (year off), Josh Hoffman (Brisbane), Bacho Salam (Brisbane Tigers), Cameron King (retired), Carlin Anderson (work commitments)

Other Hostplus Cup club gains and losses

PNG Hunters: Cup gains and losses for 2022
Wynnum Manly Seagulls: Cup gains and losses for 2022
Brisbane Tigers: Cup gains and losses for 2022
Burleigh Bears: Cup gains and losses for 2022
Norths Devils: Cup gains and losses for 2022
Redcliffe Dolphins: Cup gains and losses for 2022
Sunshine Coast Falcons: Cup gains and losses for 2022
Souths Logan Magpies: Cup gains and losses for 2022

*Submissions made by clubs and correct at time of publication. 

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