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Former Maroons to coach City and Country boys

Two former Queensland Maroons will head up opposing Queensland Under 17 City and Country boys campaigns, with the Queensland Rugby League today confirming the appointments of David Stagg and Antonio Kaufusi.

Stagg, a former Brisbane Broncos and Canterbury Bulldogs utility who played more than 200 NRL games, will coach City in the match to be played on the same game-day program as the Hostplus Cup grand final at Moreton Daily Stadium the final weekend in September.

Country coach Kaufusi also boasts an impressive playing resume, having taken the field in more than 200 top grade games across both NRL and English Super League competitions.

The former Maroons representatives are now committed to developing emerging talent, and are both actively involved in QRL pathway competitions, including the 2022 Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup season.

Stagg was the assistant coach with Norths Devils and has since moved up into the club’s Hastings Deering Colts coaching ranks.

Kaufusi has been head coach of the Wide Bay Bulls for the past two seasons.

Kaufusi coaching. Photo: Jorja Brinums/QRL
Kaufusi coaching. Photo: Jorja Brinums/QRL

“David and Antonio were identified as coaches who had a strong connection with their players and were eager to progress their coaching further,” QRL male pathways coach Guy Williams said.

“I’m eager to work closely with both coaches and their support staff to ensure the City versus Country experience is a valuable one for players and staff.”

Stagg said he was looking forward to the opportunity after working with City in a mentoring capacity last year.

“Off the back of last year and seeing what it is all about, it’s more about giving them an insight into what is required at this level and their progression moving forward,” Stagg said.

“In this age group, any experience in that arena is always an opportunity to better themselves down the track.

“And for me personally, while they’re doing it as a player, I’m looking forward to getting a bit more experience within this program as a coach too.”

Kaufusi said he was “humbled” by the Country appointment.

“It really resonates with me, growing up here in the Bundaberg region, and my experiences of what we go through with players… just the challenges of having to get to places,”  Kaufusi said.

“I think that is something that we can draw on during the week when we get into camp together because we have those types of things in common, that we’re representing not only the country but our families and the sacrifices they make to ensure our players have a pathway.”

Expressions of interest

Assistant coaches and team managers

The QRL is seeking suitably qualified individuals to apply for key roles for this City versus Country representative program.

Each team is seeking two assistant coaches (four across the two teams) and a team manager to support the City and Country head coaches.

As part of the coaching staff, assistant coaches and team managers will be required to enter camp in Brisbane on Tuesday, September 20 ahead of the match at Moreton Bay Stadium.

The assistant coaches and team managers will work closely with their respective head coaches and QRL male pathways coach to plan, deliver and review the City versus Country representative program.

If being part of a strong culture and ensuring some of Queensland’s brightest young players continue to develop is central to your make-up, then the QRL encourages you to apply for the assistant coach roles by close of business on Monday, August 8.

More information regarding qualifications for each of these roles can be found via the links below.

The closing date for all applications is close of business on Monday, August 8.

To apply, click here.

Hero image: David Stagg mentoring in 2021. Photo: Jorja Brinums/QRL

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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