Six players from Tweed Heads Seagulls’ national championship winning under-18s side have been chosen in the Queensland under-18s to take on New South Wales as a curtain-raiser to the first State of Origin clash of 2019 at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday-week (June 5).
It has been a massive month for Tim Maccan’s side. After coming from fourth on the ladder to win the Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup grand final against Wynnum Manly 28-24, then beating Illawarra 48-14 in the national junior championships, they have now dominated the 18-man Maroons squad.
Centre-winger Xavier Coates, who debuted for the Seagulls in the Intrust Super Cup last Saturday, fullback Reece Walsh, second-rowers Juwan Compain and Brendan Piakura and lock Carsil Vaikai are in the selected 17 with goalkicking halfback Toby Sexton 18th man.
Coach Kurt Richards and his players will assemble in Brisbane this Thursday to begin preparations for the June 5 clash, which will be played before the opening match of the Holden State of Origin series.
Queensland’s next generation of emerging talent will run against the Maroons’ Origin team’s training session on Friday.
Seagulls CEO Paul Stephenson said the club should be proud of the under-18s’ achievements and the talent in the side that won six of eight matches with an impressive for-and-against tally of 270 points to 122.
“It’s tremendous reward for the players and their families, plus Tim Maccan and his coaching staff, to see these boys rewarded with the privilege of playing on Suncorp Stadium on Origin night,” he said.
“It will be a big thrill for them to train against, and meet, the Queensland Origin team as well.
“It’s such a great achievement in what has been an outstanding season so far for the club, with our ISC team running fourth, the Hastings Deering Colts in the top eight and the women’s team performing probably above expectations in their first season together.
“The challenge now is the keep improving throughout the rest of the season.”
Xavier Coates – Tweed Seagulls
Juwan Compain – Tweed Seagulls
Harrison Graham – Wynnum Manly Seagulls
Reece Hoffman – Wynnum Manly Seagulls
Jack Howarth – Easts Tigers
Joshua James – Norths Devils
Alofiana Khan-Pereira – Burleigh Bears
Trent Loiero – Sunshine Coast Falcons
Jack Martin – Ipswich Jets
Fanitesi Niu – Souths Logan Magpies
Brendan Piakura – Tweed Seagulls
Tristan Powell – Burleigh Bears
Jake Simpkin – Wynnum Manly Seagulls
Hamiso Tabuai–Fidow – Townsville Blackhawks
Carsil Vaikai – Tweed Seagulls
Sam Walker – Ipswich Jets
Reece Walsh – Tweed Seagulls
18th man: Toby Sexton – Tweed Seagulls
Coach: Kurt Richards