It's a trial, but that won't stop players from holding back
RUGBY LEAGUE: Gladstone Brothers coach Danny Blair looks forward to what his team can do against Brothers of Rockhampton under lights tomorrow.
When the lights flick on at the Gladstone Brothers Junior Rugby League Fields at 6.30pm tomorrow, all the months of a gruelling pre-season will come to the fore.
That's because the Rocky Brothers are the reigning champions and will be smarting from their 30-16 loss to Mackay Brothers a fortnight ago.
"Pre-season has been good and we have a good mix of 2018 and younger new players coming up," Blair said.
The likes of Jake Collins, who did a pre-season with CQ Capras, will be one to watch and Blair said there were others.
"Declan Huth is another young player and he'll play at full-back in the trial and Bailey Audet played in the under-20s last year and we're look to start him at hooker," Blair said.
Gladstone Brothers were competitive in the 2018 Rockhampton Rugby League extended competition with six wins, 12 losses and seventh place on the ladder.
But the club will be part of a Gladstone-only rugby league competition, which will consist of Gladstone Valleys, Calliope Roosters, Tannum Seagulls and Gladstone Wallabys.
Blair said he supported the new format but playing in the best possible competition was the preference and perhaps may still eventuate in a few years.
"The Gladstone Rugby League made a bold but good move," he said.
"It will give the Gladstone clubs a chance to get back more players to play league and there will be no travel.
"It will also suit shiftworkers."
Second-rower James McCafferty said it will be a solid hit-out.
"I relish a big work-load and think we have a good combination," he said.
McCafferty has been back just two years after a hiatus.
"I have been at the club since juniors, but didn't play for about eight years because I worked in construction," he said.
He supports the Gladstone-only competition and believes it will make it stronger.
There will be an under-9 game as a curtain-raiser at 5.30pm.