TIME FOR FOOTY: Adrian Vowles with one of the winning teams for the 2018 Adrian Vowles Cup.
TIME FOR FOOTY: Adrian Vowles with one of the winning teams for the 2018 Adrian Vowles Cup. Molly Hancock

The heart of country NRL in Charleville

Rugby League: The former Cowboys legend who came from humble beginnings in Cunnamulla and Charleville is back in a place he refers to as home for a sport that is at the heart of the bush.

Even though Adrian Vowles is many years retired, rugby league still holds a special place in his heart, so much so that he is back to help host the sixth Adrian Vowles Cup.

In six years it has grown from six teams to 26 teams this year as the town prepares for this weekend's annual competition.

"The Adrian Vowles Cup was started in 2014 by myself and a good mate from Charleville, Shaun 'Zoro' Radnedge,” Vowles said.

"The reason we wanted to start the competition was simply that there was no football in the southwest or central-west region after under-12s, so kids basically couldn't play football.

"My father was instrumental in getting an under-14s and under-17s competition going when I was a kid, and that continued for many years until falling by the wayside, and then Shaun's son fell into that U14 age group and he wanted him to be able to continue to play football.

"The timing was right for us to introduce the Adrian Vowles Cup.”

This weekend, teams from across Queensland will descend on the small country community for the two-day rugby league carnival, including age groups from U14s to U18s.

"We created the Adrian Vowles Cup hoping to give outback kids the same opportunities as their city cousins and to play and meet people they normally wouldn't,” he said.

"Hopefully one day, one of the players who has competed in our carnival will get to play in the NRL - and what a great story that would be.”


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