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Boost for regional communities with Country Week matches confirmed

Seven regional centres are gearing up to stage Hostplus Cup matches in July as the Queensland Rugby League combines with the Queensland Government to deliver a unique experience for league-loving communities.

With the Palaszczuk Government extending its sponsorship of the popular Activate Queensland! Country Week initiative, the QRL and its clubs are now busy preparing for the logistical exercise of taking every Round 18 game to rural and remote communities across the weekend of July 15-16.

Sports Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said Country Week had become a much-anticipated annual event that rewarded regional Queensland, a true heartland of the game.

“This is one of my favourite rounds on the Hostplus Cup calendar and this season it’s great that we’ve been able to work with the QRL to bring Country Week games to Weipa, Wondai and Miles for the first time,” Hinchliffe said.

Activate Queensland! Country Week locked in

“The footprint across the state is quite remarkable, with other games to be played in Proserpine, Biloela, Kilcoy and Stanthorpe.

“It’s shaping up to be another terrific weekend of rugby league, that doesn’t just provide a tremendous boost for local communities and businesses, but also helps instil community pride and inspire the next generation of Queensland Maroons superstars.”

The Northern Pride and Sunshine Coast Falcons are locked in for the historic clash in Weipa, a coastal community of approximately 4000 people located on Albatross Bay on the west coast of Cape York Peninsula.

The township sits around 200 kilometres from Australia’s northern tip and about 800 kilometres from Cairns by road.

Wondai’s first taste of Cup action is between the Norths Devils and Wynnum Manly Seagulls, while the community of Miles on the western Darling Downs welcomes the Redcliffe Dolphins and Burleigh Bears.

QRL competitions manager Dave Maiden said Activate Queensland! Country Week would bring people together through various game-day activities and school and community visits.

“We expect to have contact with 10,000-plus participants over the duration of the event,” Maiden said.

“It’s a great leveller for our players and our competition as it reminds everyone how tough it is for some of these communities who have to travel four or five hours to play a game of rugby league and the conditions they often play under.

“It’s also a reminder for our players of where they come from, and to never underestimate the parents, volunteers and the people from junior clubs who help get them to where they are now.”

Maiden praised the Hostplus Cup clubs for their ongoing support.

“Our clubs over the past few years have really embraced it, and have opened their doors to welcome people in from community clubs to see how they operate,” Maiden said.

“They’ve helped make it a really inclusive event that communities enjoy, so much so that we now have a long list of people from various regional and rural centres who want to host future games.”

Activate Queensland! Country Week

Hostplus Cup Round 18: July 15-16

  • Biloela: Ipswich Jets v Central Queensland Capras
  • Kilcoy: Brisbane Tigers v Tweed Seagulls
  • Miles: Redcliffe Dolphins v Burleigh Bears
  • Proserpine: Souths Logan Magpies v Mackay Cutters
  • Weipa: Sunshine Coast Falcons v Northern Pride
  • Wondai: Norths Devils v Wynnum Manly Seagulls
  • Stanthorpe: Townsville Blackhawks v Western Clydesdales

Papua New Guinea Hunters have a bye.

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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