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Everything you need to know: XXXX Chair's Challenge

The XXXX Chair's Challenge will see the best A grade players from the South East region go toe-to-toe in men's and women's competitions.

It is the first time the women's competition has taken place as part of the XXXX Chair's Challenge, and will be contested between teams representing Brisbane, Gold Coast and Ipswich.

As is customary, Brisbane is split into two teams - Red and White - for the four-team men's competition.

Ipswich Diggers teams have spent the past few weeks deep in preparations, creating a buzz on social media by giving locals an insight into the intense action they can expect over the three days.

Ipswich Diggers centre Gemma Range said she was looking forward to the opportunity to represent Ipswich and her club Fassifern, and running out alongside some former Goodna Eagles teammates.

"We've had a few training sessions now... I think everyone's looking forward to it and Rugby League Ipswich is putting a lot into it for us girls, which is cool," she said.

"I was honestly quite shocked when Daryll (Squires) the coach approached me after our game against Brothers. I wasn't expecting it at all.

Gemma Range training for the Ipswich Diggers' inaugural women's side. Photo: Rugby League Ipswich
Gemma Range training for the Ipswich Diggers' inaugural women's side. Photo: Rugby League Ipswich

"I'm really grateful. It's a great opportunity and really good to be representing our own clubs and also Ipswich and being the first ever one is awesome.

"Hopefully it's successful, and after this year there will be a women's team every year, so hopefully it's something girls will want to take part in, and they pick a City team from this as well, so hopefully we have a few girls picked from our team.

"I'm expecting it to be tough. I'm sure there's going to be some really great girls playing for the Gold Coast and Brisbane teams and I'm expecting us to go out there and give it our best and I think we should go well.

"This group of girls has a lot of talent in there so I'm really looking to seeing how we all play together."

Diggers men's assistant coach Kieran Turner said the skill set among this year's squad was "incredible" and was bullish about their chances in front of the home fans.

"The buy-in is definitely there and it seems like we've gelled pretty quickly. I'm looking forward to it. It's one of the better squads we've had in recent years, and we're certainly expecting a couple of the boys to push on with City selection," he said.

"We've got a few boppers but Ono So'oialo at the back is excitement machine. We've had him in our squad the past few years and a player who has pushed on to higher ranks in (Hostplus) Cup and Queensland Rangers in the past.

"We think he's still good enough to be running around in Cup. He's a level above the competition and he was certainly our best player in the carnival last year and dangerous when he got his hands on the ball.

"But just our forward pack is really good. Caleb Esera is a giant of a man and we're looking forward to seeing him run around. He's been tormenting the competition a bit for Brothers.

Caleb Esera. Photo: Rugby League Ipswich
Caleb Esera. Photo: Rugby League Ipswich

"Taj Hinton as well, the half for Brothers, has been going really well, just a genuine leader who can put faith in the team."

All players will be vying for selection in Queensland City men's and women's teams to play in the XXXX Queensland City v Country on Hostplus Cup grand final day in September.

Main image: Hayden Herbert from Brisbane with the 2023 trophy. Photo: Vanessa Hafner/QRL

Everything you need to know - XXXX Chair's Challenge 2024

Key information

When: Friday, July 5 to Sunday, July 7

Where: North Ipswich Reserve

Broadcast: (Round Pass - $4.99)

Points system: Two (2) points available for winner of each half, and two (2) points for winner of the match


Friday, July 5

Time Competition Match Match officials
7.30pm Women Ipswich Diggers v Brisbane Poinsettias Izzy Davidson, Kirra Bowman-Ivers, Yaleena Harradine

Saturday, July 6

Time Competition Match Match officials
12.30pm Men Brisbane Red v Brisbane White Tori Wilkie, Will Batchelor, Ethan Brown
2pm Women Brisbane Poinsettias v Gold Coast Vikings Rochelle Tamarua, Amberley Keating, Mikki Williamson
3.45pm Men Ipswich Diggers v Gold Coast Vikings Cody Kwik, Jakob Funk, Scott Whelan

Sunday, July 7 

Time Competition Match Match officials
11.30am Ipswich Diggers v Gold Coast Vikings Women Ben Casey, Cachella Williamson, Jacob Van Ek
1pm Gold Coast Vikings v Brisbane Red Men Ben Sepalla, Ryan Littleford, Henry Goddard
2.30pm Ipswich Diggers v Brisbane White Men Trey Hubert, Bayden Sawyers, Matt Colclough



Brisbane Red

Number Name
1 Samuela Vakadula
2 Marcus Spence
3 Montel Lisala
4 Cole Waaka
5 Tyler Han
6 Noah Natupu
7 Brayden Torpy
8 Beni Allen
9 Logan Cox
10 Madison Beckett
11 Sam Collins
12 Levi Wilson
13 Nathan Keggs
14 Harrison Hill
15 Heath Wilson
16 Harry Armstrong
17 Zane Ford
18 Regan Glynn

Brisbane White

Number Name
1 Braden Whittaker
2 Jack Stafford
3 Ethan Unicomb
4 Isaiah LeaLiiee
5 Oskar Enasio
6 Nathan Brown
7 Hayden Herbert
8 Cameron Torpy
9 Jackson Chang
10 Garrett Smith
11 James Robinson
12 Kelepe Faukafa
13 Dredin Sorenson
14 Savaan Tahere
15 Reed Young
16 Dilbert Isaac
17 Tieran Ross
18 Max Pakai

Gold Coast Vikings

Number Name
1. Liam Wilson
2. Michael Walit
3. Regan Ogle
4.  Queile Murray
5.  Dredin Goldsmith
6. Ryder Williams
7. Campbell Pirihi
8.  Dan Shannon
9. Jordan Scott (C)
10.  Takitau Mapapalangi
11. Samuel McIntyre
12.  Erris Kane
13.  Blake Scott (C)
14.  Matthew Canning
15.  Samuel Shannon
16.  Aston Bai
17.  Reico Ratana
18.  Andrew Henry

Ipswich Diggers

Number Name Club
1. Ono So'oialo (C) Redbank
2. Eli Teariki Brothers
3. Bessie Toomaga Redbank
4. Luke Maddaford Jets
5. Deijon Leugaimafa Brothers
6. Taj Hinton Brothers
7. Tristan Sami Swifts
8. Pat Samatua Fassifern
9. Isi Hafoka (C) Fassifern
10. James Tutulia Brothers
11. Matt Bell  
12. Charles Christiensen Fassifern
13. Saunda Seumanutafa Redbank
14. Sam Madden Norths
15. Chayse Cavanagh Jets
16. Nathan Fraser Jets
17. Wilson Malesilia Swifts
18. TJ Siakisini Redbank


Brisbane Poinsettias

Number Name
1 Vyiesha Tuua
2 Amy Bird
3 May Tareha
4 Alexandrea Kiriwi
5 Ruby Bezgovsek
6 India Seeto
7 Memory Paitai
8 Acacia Wulf
9 Liliele Vaitolo
10 Antonia Vito
11 Patricia Wani
12 Harmony Baanders
13 Eden Utatao
14 Jiniah Miru
15 Hayley Bush
16 Elaina Saluni
17 Seromelina Tanielu
18 Gabrielle Finn

Gold Coast

Number Name
1. Chantelle Holloway
2. Baylee Davies
3. Shanarlii Peckham
4. Chazmin Holloway
5.  Tarnisha Lyons
6.  Mystery Kora
7. Izzy Lee
8.  Aza Wallace
9.  Nadia Windleborn
10. Jonel Lavender
11.  Jaime Phillips
12.  Liantre Anderson
13. Crystal Tamarua (C)
14.  Tiah Betteridge
15.  Kadi Roberston
16.  Rona Peters
17.  Tamika Smith
18.  Emylee Hawke
19. Kaliyah Browning


Squad: Alayna Poasa, Aliya Hura, Ariana Henderson, Bella Pita, Chynna Leota, Coourtney Lee Nolan, Gemma Range, Grace Naleba, Imogen Davidson, Kita Sao, Latia Schefe, Lyllian Mikaio, Mercedes Taulele Siala, Nicki Cox, Paris Va, Patrice Chambers, Pauline Moliga, Shalom Tuifao, Tino Ah Him, Vaituulina Soe

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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