2017 QLD Country Opens and U19s teams announced

The 2017 Queensland Country Heelers Opens and Under 19 squads have been named, following the Queensland Country Championships in Bundaberg last week.

In the opens, South Queensland had a successful tournament in Bundaberg and will have 17 representatives in the 25-man Heelers squad.

“It’s a reflection of their last few years where they’ve put back-to-back titles together. With a short program we look for combinations and obviously with their success there’s a couple of good combinations there,” coach Rob Johnson said.

“We’ve named hooker Jack Cook and two locks Lachlan Cullick and Sam Tweedy who play club football together in Goondiwindi so that will help at lineout time.

“We’ve had a huge turnover from previous years so it’s a very new squad. There were numerous people who we hadn’t seen a great deal of but have played out of their skin.”

The Heelers will kick off their three-match tour with a match against the Queensland Premier Rugby’s Presidents XV on the 25th of June.

“It will be a great game for us. We only get into camp on the Friday with a few short sessions before that game but we’re excited to show what country Rugby is about by playing hard football right from the start.

South Queensland Under 19s ended North Queensland’s three-year Queensland Country Championship reign and have been rewarded with 15 players selected in the Queensland Country Under 19 Team.

The U19s side will also take on a Presidents XV outfit on the 25th of June, before returning to Ballymore on the 28th to play the University of Queensland Premier Colts side.

Head coach Terry Shiells said: “From my point-of-view it’s about giving young players an opportunity for people to see them play at the next level.

“I think it’s a good group. All of the boys look fit and strong and they look keen to participate.

“The next step for us as coaches is to pick the best XV. That’ll happen when we get into camp and attitude becomes a big thing at this level.”

“It’s going to be good. We don’t have a lot of time together and some guys will find it tough but there’s definitely players there who can play at the next level in the future,” he said.

Ballymore – June 25
Queensland Country Heelers v Queensland Premier Rugby President’s XV
Queensland Country Under 19 v Queensland Premier Rugby President’s U19

Ballymore – June 28
Queensland Country Heelers v North Canterbury
Queensland country Under 19 v University of Queensland Premier Colts

Newcastle – July 1
Queensland Country Heelers v NSW Country
Queensland Country Under 19 v NSW Country U19

Queensland Country Heelers Opens Team
Kyle Beakey South Queensland
Sam Bradely North Queensland
Jack Cook South Queensland
Wilson Enoka South Queensland
Stephen Finigan South Queensland
Josh Fletcher North Queensland
Will Gilbert South Queensland
Matt Gicquel South Queensland
Harry Hawker South Queensland
Hugh Huppatz North Queensland
Shane Kennedy North Queensland
Kai Lowal North Queensland
Jesse McGilvary South Queensland
Charlie McKill South Queensland
Kris Nielson North Queensland
Mitch Planten South Queensland
Tim Rodgers South Queensland
Jay Shulte South Queensland
John Southern South Queensland
Kerwin Swanson North Queensland
Lachlan Tullock South Queensland
James Turvey South Queensland
Sam Tweedy South Queensland
John Vinson South Queensland
David West Central Queensland

Head Coach: Rob Johnson – South Queensland
Assistant Coach: Stuart Beakey – South Queensland
Manager: Dan Bowdler – South Queensland
Physio: Jon Moses – South Queensland

Queensland Country Under 19 Team
Angus Small North Queensland
Hahns Sperling South Queensland
Benjamin Stewart South Queensland
Roarke Christensen Central Queensland
Sam Von Blankensee South Queensland
Daniel Cooper North Queensland
Taine Craig-Love South Queensland
Jamieson Smith South Queensland
Dexter Anderson North Queensland
Dan Cover South Queensland
Adam Berthleson South Queensland
Reurben Olive Central Queensland
Billy Bully North Queensland
Lachlan Smith North Queensland
Lachlan Sperling South Queensland
Joe Gilbert South Queensland
Dominic Vercoe South Queensland
Tyler Searle South Queensland
Stefan Vilijoen Central Queensland
Joey Cram North Queensland
Trent Owen North Queensland
Rohan Gale South Queensland
Jodezhi Gage South Queensland
Nat Currie South Queensland
Malachi Reweti South Queensland

Head Coach: Terry Shiells – North Queensland
Assistant Coach: Joe Faalago – South Queensland
Development coach: Fran Lando – North Queensland
Manager: Robert Brennan – North Queensland
Physio: Leigh McCarthy