IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Mitchell Junior and Senior Rugby League president John Birkett says it is a great honour for the town to host the Outback Rugby League Carnival.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Mitchell Junior and Senior Rugby League president John Birkett says it is a great honour for the town to host the Outback Rugby League Carnival. Blake Antrobus

Mitchell stands tall

LEAGUE: For a small country town like Mitchell, hosting the 2016 Outback Rugby League Carnival for the first time is an immense achievement, according to Mitchell Rugby League president John Birkett.

Helping to prepare the grounds with a fresh coat of paint for the goalposts and an updated scoreboard, Birkett said he was excited for the town to host clubs from as far as Charleville, Mt Isa, Barcaldine and Longreach.

Birkett said it was the first time Roma and District would host the competition.

“This is an immense opportunity for the town and the boys are pretty excited about how the weekend will go,” he said.

“Mt Isa hosted last year and Barcaldine hosted the competition for a couple of years out their way, but we’re hoping that this year’s cup gets a bit of interest in the club going.”

Players have the opportunity to be selected for the prestigious Outback Queensland team by a board of selectors, with the team going on to play a rep side at a later date.

Birkett said the selection would provide opportunity for unrecognised bush footballers to be noticed.

“The board will proceed to pick the Queensland A-grades and under-20s sides, and the three areas of the south-west teams are divided up into two for the reps side later on,” he said.

“This is a very prestigious selection for the competition and it allows a lot of the unrecognised talent to be noticed.”

Despite predictions for some grey weather at the weekend, Birkett remained confident the players would soldier on for the games.

“The rain could be a problem for the roads but the boys will definitely toughen it out, rain, hail or shine,” he said.


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