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XXXX Chair's Challenge: Inside the Brisbane men's 2024 selection draft

Two Brisbane teams will be among the four battling for supremacy in the XXXX Chair's Challenge in 2024, with selections always throwing up plenty of interest.

It even goes beyond teammate v teammate, with a brother v brother duel looming in the Torpy family.

The selections will be even more important than in previous years with the two sides - Brisbane Red and Brisbane White - facing off in their first games of the carnival, so a loss here could cruel their chances of victory.

It will still be all to play for with Queensland City places up for grabs for the XXXX Queensland City v Country in September.

Brisbane Red coach Mark Gliddon and Brisbane White counterpart Ian Turner sat down for a draft-style selection last week to pick their 18-man squads, while a number of shadow players were also chosen which either coach could choose from should unavailability inevitably strike leading into the carnival.

Gliddon came up trumps in the coin toss to decide who gets first pick of position and the player to fill it.

Brisbane men's coaches Ian Turner and Mark Gliddon chose their sides in a draft on June 17.
Brisbane men's coaches Ian Turner and Mark Gliddon chose their sides in a draft on June 17.

Players who have played four or more Hostplus Cup matches are ineligible for selection and will be deemed ineligible should they play a fourth match Cup match this weekend.

The below teams will be finalised following the competition of Round 12 of Brisbane Rugby League Premier A grade, with Gold Coast and Ipswich also to finalise their squads on Monday, July 1.

Speaking soon after the draft, Gliddon said his spine was working away at their combinations.

"I spoke to my fullback, my five-eighth, my halfback, my No.9 and my No.14 and I had a chat to all them and sent them all a playbook to give them a little bit of an idea what we're looking at and what we want to do," he said.

"They're all keen, they all want to play."

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Brisbane selection draft - as it happened

Pick 1 - Brisbane Red - 7. Brayden Torpy (Carina)

Mark Gliddon: "He's played about 86 Cup games and I've coached him in a couple of rep sides, so I'm very confident what I want to do on the field, he will be able to relay out there"

Pick 2 - Brisbane White - 7. Hayden Herbert (Bulimba)

IT: "That's for a number of reasons. He was so good for us last year, so a bit of loyalty there, and he probably picked his best game to play against (Wynnum Manly) the other week"

Pick 3 - Brisbane White - 9. Jackson Chang (Bulimba)

IT: "I've just been watching him read the marker play and particularly down blind sides and I think it's important to have the spine both 9 and 7 from Bulimba"

Pick 4 - Brisbane Red - 9. Zak McGuire (Valleys)

MG: "He's not overly big, but he's just tough and I quite like that about him"

Pick 5 - Brisbane Red - 1. Marcus Spence (Redcliffe)* 

MG: "He's tall and athletic, can play centre, wing and possibly back row. Takes a lot of carries, makes a lot of metres"

Pick 6 - Brisbane White - 1. Michael McGrath (Redcliffe)

IT: "He's very quick, very strong, been safe under the high ball and I think that speed coming off the halves will be really good, and he's a goalkicker as well if need be"

Pick 7 - Brisbane White - 3. Isaiah Lealiiee (West Brisbane)

IT: "I like the left side combination with Wests and he's been in form all year. In the competition this year, he's probably the form centre"

Pick 8 - Brisbane Red - 3. Declan Haydon (West Brisbane)

MG: "He's playing good footy, at Wests who are undefeated. Danny Green (West Brisbane Panthers coach) sold him to me the other week when he said 'watch him play this week, Gliddo, you'll be sold on him' and I watched the game and he was outstanding, and that's how he got himself in"

Pick 9 - Brisbane Red - 8. Thomas McKenzie (West Brisbane)

MG: "I reckon he's the best front rower in the comp. He loves contact, he's got great bumper bars and he's a redhead and every side needs one"

Pick 10 - Brisbane White - 10. Cameron Torpy (Carina) 

IT: "He's one of the in-form front rowers at the moment, got good speed and really good at the line"

Pick 11 - Brisbane White - 4. Tony Thompson (Carina) 

IT: "I like him because he's a bit versatile. I could use him at fullback or in the halves if I need to, and he was very good against us on the right side"

Pick 12 - Brisbane Red - 4. Cole Waaka (Carina)

MG: "He's very experienced, has played NSW Cup with the Warriors, and a fair bit of Hostplus Cup and defensively he's very good"

Pick 13 - Brisbane Red - 14. Ethan Malt (Wynnum Manly Juniors)

MG: "I've coached him before, he's a great kid, his work ethic is second-to-none, he's a professional and he's probably the sort of player we want around this group"

Pick 14 - Brisbane White - 14. Cruise Ten (Beenleigh) 

IT: "He's so solid through the middle and dangerous near the line, always got an offload in him and perfect for Jackson (Chang) to be backing up in the middle"

Pick 15 - Brisbane White - 13. Dredin Sorensen (Carina) 

IT: "He's got a lot of ticker, strong through the middle, has played centre, played Cup and been quite dominant in the BRL. He's an animal. I like him"

Pick 16 - Brisbane Red - 13. Nathan Keggs (Bulimba)

MG: "He's got great leg speed, he's tough, he's two weeks back from a six-week injury, but there's something about him that's exciting. I think he's going to play a lot of Hostplus Cup"

Pick 17 - Brisbane Red - 11. Levi Wilson (Redcliffe)

MG: 'I reckon he's a Cup player. He's nice and tough. I rang Redcliffe about him and they had nothing but glowing reports for him"

Pick 18 - Brisbane White - 11. Jacob Sturt (Redcliffe)   

IT: "He's versatile, been playing on the edge, but actually preferred middle,  so I can use him there. His workrate is exceptional and he's got a great offload in him, and also a bit of a leader through the middle. He'll buy in, and I think that's important for this side"

Pick 19 - Brisbane White - 12. Kelepi Faukafa (Wynnum Manly Juniors)

IT: "I had a fair bit to do with him at Wynnum. He's got speed on the edge and he'll hold that edge together defensively"

Pick 20 - Brisbane Red - 12. Jack Svendsen (Carina)

MG: "He's played about 150 Cup games, he does a really good job protecting his halves and he's playing good footy"

Pick 21 - Brisbane Red - 2. Zion Johnson (West Brisbane)

MG: "He's been playing good footy in a side that's undefeated. He's quick and I'd be surprised if he wasn't up there with the leading try scorers"

Pick 22 - Brisbane White - 2. Jalen Reweti (West Brisbane)

IT: "Playing outside Isaiah (Lealiiee), they're actually good mates as well, and down that left side I think they'll be good together"

Pick 23 - Brisbane White - 6. Nathan Brown (West Brisbane)

IT: "Just to complete that whole left side for Wests, pretty well. They're in form, undefeated and the left side combination for them has been good. His kicking game is sensational"

Pick 24 - Brisbane Red - 6. Jake House (Carina)

MG: "He was contracted to Melbourne and was captain of my Colts team last year and I think he will be a 100-game Cup player. He played all bar three games busted last season, so he's just a tough kid" 

Pick 25 - Brisbane Red - 16. Sam Collins (West Brisbane)

MG: "If he's half as tough as his brother Lindsay, he's going all right. He can play centre, he can play back row, he can play middle and he's just a great kid. People want to be around him"

Pick 26 - Brisbane White - 16. Will Toloi (West Brisbane)

IT: "He played centre for Wests last year, so could cover in case of injury. He's been in good form as well"

Pick 27 - Brisbane White - 8. Dilbert Issac (Brighton)


Pick 28 - Brisbane Red - 10. Wyatt Reynolds (West Brisbane)

MG: "Norths contracted, has played Cup in previous years (at Falcons)"

Pick 29 - Brisbane Red - 18. Montel Lisala (Redcliffe)

MG: "If he's not leading try scorer, he'd be right up there. He just finds his way to the try line"

Pick 30 - Brisbane White - 18. Kingstimer Paraia (Souths)

IT: "He's been good the last couple of years."

Pick 31 - Brisbane White - 5. Jack Stafford (Wynnum Manly Juniors)

Ian: "Loyalty from the Red side last year, he was our best player in the carnival, a good kid and I like the way he bought into the culture last year and hopefully can redevelop that"

Pick 32 - Brisbane Red - 5. Samuela Vakadula (Carina)

MG: "There's football written all over him. There's something special there."

Pick 33 - Brisbane Red - 14. Brad Russell (Bulimba)

MG: "Brad covers 7,6,9,1, he's played a bit of 9, very fast, Bulimba's captain at the moment"

Pick 34 - Brisbane White - 14. Ethan Unicomb (Wynnum Manly Juniors)

IT: "I've known him since he was 14. He's really good kid, never complains, fits any position, could play fullback through to hooker, scored the winning try in the grand final last year and he just deserves his chance"

Pick 35 - Brisbane White - 17. Garrett Smith (Beenleigh Pride)

IT: "He's been knocking on the door of Cup, I know Mat Head's a big fan"

Pick 36 - Brisbane Red - 17. Michael Waqa (Brighton)

MG: "He's a good young up-and-coming 'frontie' that's been playing Mal Meninga and has jumped up against men and I spoke to Andrew Wynyard (Brighton coach) on the weekend and said he's been going really well. A player of the future"

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*denotes replacement following draft

Selected teams

(as of June 26, 2024)

Brisbane Red

1. Marcus Spence (Redcliffe Juniors)

2. Zion Johnson (West Brisbane Panthers)

3. Declan Haydon (West Brisbane Panthers)

4. Cole Waaka (Carina Tigers)

5. Samuela Vakadula (Carina Tigers)

6. Jake House (Carina Tigers)

7. Brayden Torpy (Carina Tigers)

8. Thomas Mackenzie (West Brisbane Panthers)

9. Zak McGuire (Valleys Diehards)

10. Wyatt Reynolds (West Brisbane Panthers)

11. Levi Wilson (Redcliffe Juniors)

12. Jack Svendsen (Carina Tigers)

13. Nathan Kegg-King (Bulimba Bulldogs)

14. Brad Russell (Bulimba Bulldogs)

15. Ethan Malt (Wynnum Manly Juniors)

16. Sam Collins (West Brisbane Panthers)

17. Michael Waqa (Brighton Roosters)

18. Montel Lisala (Redcliffe Juniors)

Brisbane White

1. Michael McGrath (Redcliffe Juniors)

2. Jalen Reweti (West Brisbane Panthers)

3. Isaiiah Lealee (West Brisbane Panthers)

4. Tony Thompson (Carina Tigers)

5. Jack Stafford (Wynnum Manly Juniors)

6. Nathan Brown (West Brisbane Panthers)

7. Hayden Herbert (Bulimba Bulldogs)

8. Dilbert Issac (Brighton Roosters)

9. Jackson Chang (Bulimba Bulldogs)

10. Cameron Torpy (Carina Tigers)

11. Jacob Sturt (Redcliffe Juniors)

12. Kelepi Faukafa (Wynnum Manly Juniors)

13. Dredin Sorensen (Carina Tigers)

14. Ethan Unicomb (Wynnum Manly Juniors)

15. Cruise Ten (Beenleigh Pride)

16. Will Toloi (West Brisbane Panthers)

17. Garrett Smith (Beenleigh Pride)

18. Kingstimer Paraia (Normanby Hounds)

Club representation tally

West Brisbane Panthers - 9

Carina Tigers - 8

Redcliffe Juniors - 5

Wynnum Manly Juniors - 4

Bulimba Bulldogs - 4

Beenleigh Pride - 2

Brighton Roosters - 2

Valleys Diehards - 1

Normanby Hounds - 1

Souths Juniors - 0




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