After a soggy week in the North, all eyes will focus on Airlie Beach this weekend for the North Queensland 16s Championships.
Teams from Cape York, Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, and Capricornia will compete over two days, with players vying for selection in the North Queensland Kookaburras.
Last year’s undefeated champions Cairns will again bring a strong group to the Whitsundays led by last year’s state school boys ruckman Cuan Frazer and talented midfielder Joel Karwan.
Capricornia, Mackay, and Townsville all took young squads to the Championships last year and will boast plenty of talent in their second year, including Jordan Harding, Josh Brown, and Joel Newman.
The great unknown is always Cape York, who will bring their usual mix of speed, flair, and unpredictability to the carnival.
They will be led by Melbourne based Didymus Blankett (pictured), who dominated last year, earning State selection as a 15 year old.
The format of the Championships is a round robin fixture with all teams playing each other once in games of 2 x 20 minute duration.
The action starts at 9:30 on Sat with hosts Mackay taking on Cairns at Sports Park Airlie Beach.