Following the culmination of the Queensland Country Championships in Townsville this past weekend, the Queensland Country Heelers squad has been named for 2021.
The squad features a host of players from across Queensland, with a mix of experienced Heelers campaigners and fresh faces, including new head coach John Browne, who has taken the reigns of the senior program having previously coached the Queensland Country U19s.
Teachers West flyhalf Josh Fletcher returns to the side as captain, having previously led the team in 2019. Selection in the program is something that holds deep meaning for the Townsville local.
“It’s the proudest moment in my Rugby career,” Fletcher said.
“I was lucky enough to captain the side in 2019 and it is the pinnacle of Country Rugby, it’s what motivates and drives me and I’m proud to pull on the Heelers jersey.”
Flanker Alex Clark from Gladstone is one of a number of players new to the squad. Originally from the Sunshine Coast, Clark has been working towards Heelers selection since he first made the A Grade squad at the University of the Sunshine Coast, and a move to Gladstone ahead of the 2020 season seems to have done the trick for the young loose forward.
“To be honest, it’s always been a dream of mine to play for Queensland Country,” said Clarke.
“Ever since I first trialled for the Sunshine Coast Stingrays on the Sunshine Coast I’ve been working towards this goal. I couldn’t be happier.”
The Heelers will gather in Brisbane the week of April 5, and will play two matches. The squad will first take on a Queensland Premier Rugby U20s side on Wednesday, 7 April, at Wests Rugby Club, kick-off at 7:30pm.
The Country side will then get a taste of Queensland Premier Rugby, lining up against Wests Bulldogs Premier Grade on Saturday, 10 April, with Wests having a Round 1 bye in Premier Rugby. Kick-off at 11:00am.
Follow Queensland Rugby on Facebook and Instagram for updates throughout the Heelers campaign.