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Country gun Cayde Miller: ‘We’ve got a team that can get the job done’

When Queensland Under 17 Country lock Cayde Miller first started playing rugby league in Mareeba aged 10, he loved the toughness and the mateship. He still loves those things now.

The 16-year-old lives in Mareeba but boards at St Augustine’s in Cairns, where he is in Year 11, and plays for Northern Pride in their Cyril Connell Cup side.

“I love the competitiveness, the aggression, the feeling when you get a try and all of the boys are around you… nothing beats it,” Cayde said.

Despite Pride not doing as well as they could’ve during season 2024, Cayde, who has always looked up to Queensland Maroons great Johnathan Thurston, said he still enjoyed every second of the season and could not wait to rip in for Country.

“We got unlucky… we have the skill to go well, we just don’t back ourselves enough so we didn’t go as well as we hoped this season,” Cayde said.

Cayde said being selected to play for Country – the first step on the pathway to the Queensland Under 19 side and Maroons – was “an incredible opportunity”, one he was very grateful for.

“I just want to be a leader… bring leadership through actions, lead the boys around by always showing up, working hard,” Cayde said.

“To wear maroon one day would be a dream come true… it’s what I’ve always wanted, what I always work towards.

“I have always looked up to JT… just his ability to lead and the impact on the games that he had.”

Cayde said the Country side was strong and he had every confidence they would do well on Saturday against City.

“I know a fair few of the boys, I’ve played against them in Cyril Connell, and they’re all tough as… I feel like we’ve got a team that can get the job done,” Cayde said.

Country coach Duane Carpenter said Cayde brought “a lot of energy and a lot of enthusiasm”.

“He did really well for Pride this year… even on the wrong end of the scoreboard, he just kept trying, and so I’m really looking forward to seeing what he can bring with really good players around him and see if he can get to that next level,” Carpenter said.

Cayde at training. Photo: Jorja Brinums/QRL
Cayde at training. Photo: Jorja Brinums/QRL

Carpenter said the main goal this week for both sides in camp was connection.

“The overarching theme and what we’re trying to achieve here in the time that we have the boys is connection,” Carpenter said.

“To connect on the field, but importantly off the field, and bring them together so they are playing well together and playing for each other so they are in the best position they can be to achieve what they need to on Saturday.

“From one to 18, I think we’re strong across the board. Braithen Scott and Tyler Melrose in the halves, they’ve had exceptional seasons and they’re very talented players.

“It’s really hard to single anyone out this year because we have a really well-rounded side and I think if we can get them to come together, they will do great things on Saturday.

“We haven’t lost one for a while so we’re not keen to change that this year.”

The game will be available live and free at

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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