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Kyle Schneider.

Kyle Schneider knows that season 2024 will be the biggest one for him yet.

The former Mackay Cutters hooker and Scottish international has moved north this season to join with the Northern Pride in a bid to take his rugby league to the next level.

Schneider – who has been named Pride captain – has enjoyed two pre-seasons with the North Queensland Cowboys now and played in trials on both occasions.

But now he is determined to progress his career and lock in a fulltime NRL contract - and he believes the best place to do that is in Cairns.

“I had a couple of conversations with (Pride coach) Eric (Smith) at the end of last season and had some good chats with him about the move to the Pride and what he was trying to do there,” Schneider said.

“It seemed like the right move for me to progress with my career.

“This year especially for me is the year that is the most important, especially off the back of two pre-seasons with the Cowboys, playing two trial games.

“I want to be a good captain. Being 24 and getting to lead the boys around this year, that’s about being present. Being a good captain for them is a massive goal for me.

“Taking my game to that next level so I can try to progress, be picked up and be in an NRL squad next year, that’s definitely a big goal for me this year too.”

Kyle Schneider.
Kyle Schneider.

Coach Smith is also a new face at the Pride this year, after last being in Cup in 2019 at the head of the Sunshine Coast Falcons.

The Falcons enjoyed plenty of success under his tutelage and Schneider can already see and feel the impact of his coaching at the Pride.

From those conversations Schneider had with Smith last year, it was evident that not only was Cairns the right place for him, but Smith was the right coach.

“To really go to that next level, he’s going to be a massive influence,” Schneider said of Smith.

“He’s a great coach. He’s very knowledgeable. He’s definitely the guy that’s going to take our team and myself to that next level.

“It’s the little things that he picks up on with the team and with myself, he’s been great. It’s the feedback and the connection… it’s the little communications we have.

“He does the same for everyone else. Anything he notices, he’s so knowledgeable in all areas of footy.

“I can’t speak highly enough of him.”

Schneider in action for the North Queensland Cowboys. Photo: NRL Imagery
Schneider in action for the North Queensland Cowboys. Photo: NRL Imagery

The respect is obviously mutual between Schneider and Smith, with the coach stating he also believes this year could be his rake’s best yet.

He has also trusted him with the captaincy, which is something Schneider was aiming for.

He didn’t find out until mid-Febuary, right before he went back to Townsville to play with the Cowboys in their trial against the Brisbane Broncos.

“I was definitely a bit shocked but coming back from the pre-season, it was something I was looking to do,” he said.

“I was looking to come back and try to lead by example. Captain was a goal of mine so it’s good to tick that box.”

Now his focus turns to the season ahead.

The Pride will kick off their 2024 against the Tweed Seagulls on home turf and are looking to go further than they have the past two years.

In both 2022 and 2023 they have made the finals, only to fall at the first hurdle – last year getting bundled out in the opening week in a heartbreaking one-point loss to the Wynnum Manly Seagulls.

But the biggest goal the club has this year is to go much deeper into the finals and to hopefully bring the trophy back to Cairns for the first time since 2014.

“There’s a good bunch of boys of here and we have a strong team that we’re looking to go deep into this competition with,” Schneider said.

“Our main focus is to obviously win the comp. It’s a big, big thing for us this year.

“We have aspirations for top four at the end of the season and looking to progress on from there.

“With the squad we’ve got and the allocations as well, I think that’s going to be a big, big change for us this year which will help us go deep into the finals.”

Northern Pride 2024 gains and losses


Dane Aukafolau (Newcastle Knights), Joshua Allen (Canberra Raiders), Ashton Galea (Innisfail Brothers), Nat McGavin (Brisbane Tigers), Joseph Ratuvakacereivalu (Cairns Brothers), Bacho Salam (Brisbane Tigers), Kyle Schneider (Mackay Cutters), Jensen Taumoepeau (Newtown Jets), Lachlan West (Brisbane Tigers)


Julian Christian (Norths Devils), Mareko Daniel (released), Justin Frain (Wynnum Manly Seagulls), Daniel Hindmarsh-Takyi (Castleford Tigers), Zane Knowles (released), Bernard Lewis (Townsville Blackhawks), Ponepate Tongia (released), Zac Vella (released)

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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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