Confraternity Carnival: What you need to know
More than 1000 schoolboy league players are set to descend on Bundaberg for a milestone Confraternity Carnival next week but few will match St Mary's Toowoomba for intensity.
The carnival will celebrate its 40th anniversary at Shalom College with Johnathan Thurston's alma mater hoping to retain their 2018 crown.
St Mary's delivered southeast Queensland's first title in over a decade with a 42-6 win over St Peter Claver College Riverview and have momentum on their side after upsetting Wavell SHS in their final Allan Langer Cup game last week.
"We learned a lot two years ago when some of our players had their first Confraternity Carnivals and learned what it was like to play six games in only a few days," St Mary's coach Rob Anderson said.
"The carnival really helps players develop and we saw the benefits of that when some of our players went into last year's matches and played well. That win meant a lot to this school and now we're looking forward to returning this year to see how we play."
The loss of recent Wests Tigers signing Jake Simpkin will test St Mary's, who face 13-time champions St Brendan's Yeppoon on day one, but much is expected from fellow division one sides Marist College Ashgrove, Padua College, Iona College and St Patrick's Shorncliffe.
The Brisbane heavyweights were among AIC rugby's best in the recent First XV season with Ashgrove recording an undefeated season and all will be hoping to impress ahead of the inaugural AIC league competition next school term, which will also feature division two carnival entrants St Edmund's and St Laurence's.
Marist placed tenth at last year's carnival with Pats (14th), Padua (15th), Eddies (16th), Iona (17th) and Lauries (20th) finishing inside the top 20 schools.
Ambrose Treacey College have also entered a team in division three while Springfield based St Augustine's College will be a strong contender after placing 7th in the top division last year.
Thurston remains the carnival's most illustrious participant with Cameron Munster, Daly Cherry-Evans, Michael Morgan, Corey Oates, Ben Hunt and recent teenage Test debutant Xavier Coates recent stars.
Previous 'player of the tournament' recipients also include Wendall Sailor, Chris Walker, Matt Bowen and Dave Taylor.
The carnival runs between July 1-5, featuring six matches for each team across four playing days. Each team plays two matches of 20-minute halves on the opening two days.
Finals begin on the second afternoon.
DIVISION ONE POOLS
Pool A: St Mary's Toowoomba, St Augustine's Cairns, St Brendan's, Iona
Pool B: St Peter Claver, Rockhampton Grammar, Marist Ashgrove, Emmaus Rockhampton
Pool C: Ignatius Park, Marymount, St Patrick's Mackay, St Patrick's Shorncliffe
Pool D: The Cathedral College, Aquinas, St Teresa's Abergowrie, Padua
DIVISION ONE DRAW
Pool A: St Mary's v Iona, St Augustine's v St Brendans
Pool B: St Peter Claver v Emmaus, Rocky Grammar v Ashgrove
Pool C: Ignatius Park v St Pats Shorncliffe, St Pats Mackay v Marymount
Pool D: Padua v TCC, Aquinas v St Teresa's
Pool A: St Mary's v St Brendans, St Augustine's v Iona
Pool B: Emmaus v Rocky Grammar, St Peter Claver v Ashgrove
Pool C: Ignatius Park v St Pats Mackay, St Pats Shorncliffe v Marymount
Pool D: Padua v Aquinas, TCC v St Teresa's
Pool A: St Augustine's v St Mary's, Iona v St Brendan's
Pool B: St Peter Claver v Rocky Grammar, Emmaus v Ashgrove
Pool C: Marymount v Ignatius Park, St Pats Shorncliffe v St Pats Mackay
Pool D: TCC v Aquinas, St Teresa's v Padua