Bridging the gap with an under-19 competition
Rugby League: An under-19 competition will kick off in the region this year, encouraging more young adults to continue playing rugby league.
Four teams will be involved, with Emerald Brothers to enter a standalone team and join a combined Blackwater-Bluff, Tigers-Springsure and President's XIII sides.
Central Highlands Queensland Rugby League operations manager Cameron Stallard said the new competition would provide plenty of benefits for the game.
"We trialled a similar format last season with the under-20 age group and after consultation with our stakeholders, we feel by lowering the age by a year will really help us bridge the gap between the junior and senior leagues,” he said.
"(It) will give young adults who have finished playing junior footy an opportunity to continue playing with their mates in an age-appropriate competition, easing the massive jump to A-grade.
"It will also provide us with a direct pathway to the CQ Capras U18 and U20 programs, with 10 local players selected at the end of last season to join their 2019 train-on squads.”
The six-round shortened season will conclude with the grand final on May 25 between the top two teams at McIndoe Park, Emerald.
Anyone aged 17-19 who is interested in playing should head to playnrl.com and contact their local club as soon as possible.