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Central Queensland Capras: Cup gains and losses for 2023

From Newcastle to Rockhampton, Kurt Donoghoe is moving far outside of his comfort zone.

The young playmaker moved to the Sunshine State this year in a bid to strengthen his game and he has landed at the Central Queensland Capras following the exit of five-eighth Radean Robinson.

Donoghoe has ambitions of playing in the NRL one day and has just enjoyed a pre-season -  including a number of trial games - with the Dolphins.

But Rockhampton will be where he starts his 2023 campaign.

“I’ve been in Newcastle my whole life and I kind of feel like I was stuck around the same sort of thing, the same cycle, and I just wanted to change it up a bit,” Donoghoe said.

“I’ve always had it in my head that I wanted to come up to Cup in Queensland and give it a crack. My manager spoke about it and once the opportunity came up, we were straight into it.

“The opportunity came pretty late. I just finished off the season in Newcastle and my manager was in talks with (Dolphins recruitment manager) Peter O’Sullivan.

“I didn’t really have anything and then last minute, a couple of things happened and Peter rang me and just said they were keen to get me up here and I can join the feeder team, Capras, and I jumped at it.

“I just wanted to get straight up here, stuck into it.”

Donoghoe playing for the Newcastle Knights under 20s. Photo: NRL Imagery
Donoghoe playing for the Newcastle Knights under 20s. Photo: NRL Imagery

Capras fans have already been given a taste of what Donoghoe can bring to their side this year, after he played in all three of the Dolphins’ pre-season matches, including the opening trial against Central Queensland.

Donoghoe has impressed in his pre-season with the NRL club and even scored a try in their loss to the Gold Coast Titans.

While in Newcastle, he played with the Knights’ under 20s, Jersey Flegg and NSW Cup teams, as well as A grade with Central Newcastle.

The 21-year-old has many fond memories of his time in Newcastle but is focused on making the most of his 2023 season.

He has done what he can to familiarise himself with the Capras while based at Redcliffe, including regular phone calls with coach Lionel Harbin and meeting the other players where and when he can.

While he’s been on his train and trial deal at the Dolphins, he was also living with fellow Capras, Tyler Szepanowski and Lachlan Hubner.

“I’ve spoken to Lionel a fair bit,” Donoghoe said.

“I’ve met a few of the boys and know a few them already through different sports but I’m looking forward to getting up there. It’s something different and I’ll get out of my comfort zone.

“I’m hoping to play No.6 up there. They’ve told me they have a real good directing half (captain Jack Madden) and Lionel reckons it’ll be a good combo.”

Donoghoe burrows over

As well as Donoghoe, the Capras have signed former Wynnum Manly back Tom Farr, former Hastings Deering Colts duo Carsen Huth (Wynnum Manly) and Jordan Heke (Sunshine Coast), and they will also see the return of young gun Larson Dale-Doyle, who has been with the Canterbury Bulldogs.

With a number of new young faces amongst the squad, Donoghoe’s pre-season experience will certainly help him as the Capras push to continue the success they enjoyed last season.

Central Queensland finished fifth on the ladder and bowed out in the second week of finals – a huge feat given they were wooden spooners in 2021.

Donoghoe said he had learnt plenty from the Dolphins and was ready for season 2023.

“The professionalism everyone has, especially being around some of the older boys and Wayne (Bennett), it’s a step up, another level,” he said.

“It’s like nothing I’ve ever done before. I’ve been learning heaps every day.

]“I’ve just been a sponge with everyone – Seany O'Sullivan, (Anthony) Milford, (Kodi) Nikorima is a vet. I love watching him, he’s so silky.

“They have a lot of points and little hints to give you. They’re always willing to help and I love watching and learning and soaking it all in.

“I just want to go up there now and play some good footy, be consistent and enjoy it.”

Central Queensland Capras 2023 gains and losses


Harry Barham (Emu Park), Isaiah Conway (Emu Park), Larson Dale-Doyle (Canterbury Bulldogs), Kurt Donoghoe (Newcastle Knights NSW Cup), Tom Farr (Wynnum Manly Seagulls), Carsen Huth (Wynnum Manly Seagulls), Jordan Heke (Sunshine Coast Falcons), Ethan Jackson (Yeppoon Seagulls), Aaron Moore (Townsville Blackhawks), Bob Tenza (Mendi Muruks – Papua New Guinea)


Curtis Dansey-Smaller (returned to Gold Coast), Jamie Hill (Beerwah), Jesse Jennings (Souths Logan Magpies), Harrison Leonard (North Sydney Bears), Ethan O’Neill (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Jonus Pearson (retired), Radean Robinson (Souths Logan Magpies), McKenzie Yei (Featherstone Rovers) 

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