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Community Corner: How rugby league unites the north

Our rugby league tragics are in paradise.

Footy is well and truly back in the northern parts of the state, with plenty underway and so much more left to come.

Cairns District Rugby League were the first out of the gates for senior football, after launching their season with success on March 26 and March 27.

And that is just the start.

This weekend, Townsville and Mackay will also kick off their senior seasons while the countdown is on in Mount Isa.

Here is what happening around the region.


John Cole Toyota Mayor's Trophy Challenge 🏆

Posted by Innisfail Leprechauns RLFC on Sunday, March 27, 2022


It’s going to be a big year in Townsville rugby league.

In exciting news, we are finally about to see Bowen make a long-awaited comeback after they this year entered into the reserve grade competition.

It’s been a long absence, but the Seagulls’ first home game against Townsville Brothers will no doubt be a cracker with plenty of locals out in support, if the attendance at their trial games is anything to go by.

Elsewhere, the women’s competition will also kick off on April 2 with seven teams, which is fantastic.

Seeing this growth builds a lot of excitement, especially given the potential of the North Queensland Cowboys introducing an NRLW team in the future.

The implementation of that would be a huge carrot to continue that growth and push for aspirational players in our game to sign up.

While female participation is booming, Townsville are still chasing numbers for the male under 19s competition.

The under 19s competition is a great opportunity for those players that don’t quite have the confidence to step up to our open age comps yet, but still want to be part of our game.

Playing footy with your mates is something to enjoy and this also helps them to develop the confidence they need to take that next step.

It helps us retain those players and gives them a safe, controlled environment to play against those within the same age group.


What better way is there to kick off a new season than with a grand final rematch?

That’s what we will see this weekend with Mackay’s A Grade men's competition.

Reigning premiers Sarina will host Wests after their tight 24-20 grand final victory last year.

Sarina is set to field a new team, which will certainly add an interesting dynamic.

The season opener for the women will see the Miners taking on the Magpies.

Players from all the Mackay teams.
Players from all the Mackay teams.

Mount Isa

While the senior competitions are still a few weeks away from kicking off in Mount Isa, we’re in the second week of the junior competition, including the City versus Country format.

This is the third year this format has been running for our under 15s to under 17s, after it was identified a few years ago that the registered number of participants were dropping.

Spearheaded by one of our great volunteers, Nigel Tremain, we had to look at a different way to attract and retain players, and this was the solution.

It’s no longer club versus club.

They train together in an open environment with the assistance of volunteer coaches and then five times throughout the year they split up and play against each other.

This also ties into school rugby league with the “School of Origin” for the two high schools in the region.

It’s one of the most successful developments I’ve seen for Mount Isa and has really helped break down a lot of socioeconomic barriers in the community and bring the kids together.

It’s so exciting to see it back again this year.

Main image: Mount Isa junior footy is back. Photo: Sarah Bax/QRL

Upcoming events in the north region

Date Event Place
Apr 1-2 Laurie Spina Shield Townsville
Apr 2 Townsville senior seasons start Townsville
Apr 2 Mackay senior seasons start Mackay
Apr 9 Crocs to Cane Toads carnival Mackay
Apr 9-10 Shane Muspratt carnival Townsville
Acknowledgement of Country

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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