Iles kicks off with Stockmen
THE AFL Darling Downs competition has a general bye this weekend, but Warwick Redbacks captain Brendan Iles won't be taking it easy.
Iles will line up for the Queensland Country Stockmen in a representative match against Capricornia in Cairns on Sunday.
The 25-year-old showed outstanding form at training last week in Brisbane where the initial 36-man squad was trimmed to 22.
It is the first time Iles has made the Stockmen side and he said he couldn't wait to get out on the field.
"It's always a surprise to get picked. I've been hanging out for it," he said.
"I've played in Cairns a few times in both AFL and cricket. I'm sort of familiar with the place.
"I've had a few good games up there so I'm feeling pretty confident."
Iles comes into the Queensland Country squad with an impressive list of achievements from his time in Warwick.
He has won the past three Holman medals for the best and fairest and helped lead the Redbacks into last year's grand final.
But Iles said he expected playing for the Stockmen to be a whole new challenge.
"As you go up through the levels, you definitely notice the intensity picks up," he said.
"It's going to be a quicker and harder style of football.
"Hopefully I can learn some things and take them back to the club and the other players."
Queensland Country selectors will be watching the game closely, looking for the best players to take to the national championship at Wagga Wagga in July.
On current form, Iles would have to be a strong contender for state selection but he said he didn't want to get too far ahead of himself.
"It's always in the back of your mind," he said.
"You've just got to rock up on the day and play your best. Hopefully things go your way."