Tough draw is testing
THE Watts brothers from Killarney are in the Border Bushrangers starting side for the 47th Battalion Carnival at Bundaberg this weekend.
Jamie is hooker and Brett lock.
Last season, Jamie won the Daily News/Border Rugby League Player of the Year award and is in his second year in Bushrangers colours. He played well for the Chairman’s Invitational side against Central Capras in Rockhampton at the start of the season.
Brett played under-age rugby union for Queensland while at Ipswich Grammar School and is in his third season of representative rugby league with Border.
Killarney-based Warwick Cowboys player Luke Brosnan and former Killarney coach Cameron Mulcahy, from Woodenbong, are in the Toowoomba side contesting the same carnival.
Border League president Steve McEvoy admits his side expects a tough long weekend against the might of centres like Rockhampton.
The first of the three Border-round games is against Rockhampton at 1.20pm Saturday.
“We are a league with five small clubs, and it wasn’t initially planned we would play the top teams this weekend,” McEvoy said.
“Last year’s Border grand finalists Killarney has had its talent pool reduced this year due to the closure of the Killarney Abattoir,” McEvoy said.
Former south-west development officer Carlo Napolitano and Peter Shatte, from premiers Stanthorpe, are the joint coaches of the Border Bushrangers.
Border captain Nathan Shatte has played Jersey Flegg football for Manly and toured overseas with Manly representative sides.
Prop Jason Edmondstone played Queensland school and tertiary rugby league and now teaches at Texas where he is coach of the local club team, the Terriers.
Teams in the carnival are Toowoomba, Bundaberg, Gladstone, Central Highlands, Rockhampton, Border, Sunshine Coast and Burnett.
At the end of this weekend’s carnival, the Central United side will be selected to play in the divisional A-grade carnival on the Gold Coast on the Queen’s Birthday weekend, which is a selection trial for the Queensland Rangers side.
Warwick Cowboys player Cameron Mulcahy made the Rangers side last season.
The top two teams this weekend progress in the XXXX Challenge competition, which culminates in the national final that will be a curtain-raiser to the third State of Origin game in Sydney.
The Border team will comprise: Pat Toohey, Sean Asquith, Brendan Minns, Marc McGrady, Daniel Werthenbach, Jason Cobon, Coedie Tandy, Matt Rudd, Jamie Watts, Jason Edmondstone, Brent Bennett, Nathan Shatte, Brett Watts, Tim Smith, Matt Rouen, Leon Karena, Geoff Swann, Murray Johnson, Dave Williams and Matthew Hendry.