NQ vs. SQ Rivalry heads to the tropics in 2016

North Queensland will play South Queensland in a 4:20pm curtain raiser to the Gold Coast SUNS vs. Western Bulldogs clash at Cairns Cazaly’s Stadium on July 16, as part of AFL Queensland’s 150 Year Anniversary State Representative Program.

The North Queensland side – comprising players from the Cairns, Capricornia, Mackay, Mount Isa and Townsville leagues – will take on the best players from the South East Queensland’s QFA, QAFA, Darling Downs and Wide Bay.

AFL Queensland Football Operations Manager Barry Gibson said the clash, now in its third successive year, was a key event in the Queensland football calendar.

“We are rapt that we are able to provide the opportunity for our players to play representative football at this level,” Gibson said.

“North Queensland is a huge part of our footy landscape, so it’s particularly pleasing that they get the opportunity to host the game this year; and, doubt no doubt the chance to play before an AFL home-and-away game will be a very attractive proposition to players.”

North Queensland hold bragging rights, having won both encounters; a fact Gibson thinks will inspire the visitors.

“Whilst only into its third year, there’s already a healthy rivalry building and I suspect the guys from South East Queensland will be very keen to get a win on the board,” said Gibson.

The match sees two experienced coaches at the helm, with AFL Cape York Regional Manager Rick Hanlon taking the reins of the Northerners and Mayne Coach Danny Craven, the Southerners.

Hanlon has previously coached the Queensland Country Under 18 team, as well as the Cairns representative team.

Craven was the Queensland senior state coach from 2003-2006, and the Queensland Under 18 coach in 2007.

Initial representative squads for both regions will be named on Friday June 17 with final teams announced Monday July 11.

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