READY TO PLAY: The South Burnett U18s and U20s will play in the 47th Battalion this weekend.
READY TO PLAY: The South Burnett U18s and U20s will play in the 47th Battalion this weekend. Claudia Williams

South Burnett set to host state's future rugby league stars

IF YOU love rugby league Murgon is the place to be this weekend as the South Burnett plays host the best best under-18 and under-20 players from Rockhampton to Toowoomba.

It is the first time in recent years the central division 47th battalion carnival has been held in the region.

Scott Prendergast from the Mustangs said the club was looking forward to giving South Burnett players the chance to play the state's up-and-coming stars.

"It is going to be a spectacle. If you like rugby league, come down and watch because there is going to be some quality rugby league,” Prendergast said.

"There will be players here that will eventually make the NRL.”

Prendergast said with families staying across the region for the two-day carnival, the region would benefit economically and the event would continue to increase the profile of rugby league in the South Burnett.

The U18 South Burnett Eagles, who compete in the Toowoomba Rugby League, will have an advantage over their fellow representative sides having played together each week this season.

Coach Mitchell Cush said: "We have already got combinations that don't need to be developed and we have match play together.

"We haven't fielded our strongest side for a while but depending on sickness we will field one of our strongest side of the year,” Cush said.

The Eagles will face stiff competition, especially from the Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba.

Cush said the key to the teams success would be tightening up the middle and defending against the big forwards.

"Our back line and middle can do damage if we give them the ball because they have speed and agility,” he said.

It will be different for the U20 South Burnett side, with the team coming together for the first time three weeks ago.

Coach Dennis Moore said it was a challenge getting together players from the South Burnett and Mundubbera for training.

"It is was it is and we will go with what we have. We have got very talented boys but getting them to dedicate themselves for a short campaign is difficult,” Moore said.

"It is a bit of an unknown because I haven't been back here and haven't seen them play.”

Despite this, Moore said all the representative sides had limited preparation and the Eagles would do the best they could.

"There will be a lot of good footy in Murgon on the weekend so people should come down and have a look,” he said.

Murgon's new dressing sheds and showers will be used for the first time at the carnival and Mustangs president Jamie Currin said the club was grateful for the support of club members, QRL and the council to ensure rugby league was played in great spirit.