Billy Rogers has left the Parramatta Eels and has signed with the Gympie Devils.
Billy Rogers has left the Parramatta Eels and has signed with the Gympie Devils. Contributed

Devils set for finals rematch

SATURDAY night’s rugby league blockbuster at Jack Stokes Oval is a dream come true for Gympie Devils’ officials.

Not only is the game a replay of last year’s grand final in which the Devils won, but the game sees the return of home town heroes Billy Rogers and Darren Burns.

A move which is sure to pack Jack Stokes Oval with loyal Devils fans.

Rogers will play his first game for the Devils since his release from his NRL club, the Parramatta Eels, while Burns returns to help out the injury plagued Devils and play with protege Jake Harney.

Today the pair were sharing a pizza at Pizza Hut with Burns’s other trainees Jacob Groundwater, Macca Jackson, Jericho Jackson and Jamie Dawes, to celebrate the end of the school term.

“I can’t take him to the pub, so we come here,” Burns said.

Burns has always wanted to play with the pocket dynamo Harney and returning to the Devils was his only chance.

The Gympie State High School student has been in top form since stepping up to A-grade.

He has scored eight tries in five matches.

“Hopefully he can set me up for a couple,” Burns laughed.

“I am really looking forward to it actually.”

Harney said he couldn’t wait either.

“It’s going to be great to play with Burnsie,” he said.

Gympie coach John Greensil was salivating over the forward pack he had at his disposal.

It contains three ex-NRL players, Burns, Rogers and Kris Kahler and ex-Q Cup player Adam Starr and last year’s Sunshine Coast/Gympie Player of the Year, Riley McDowall.

“We are getting there now,” Greensil said.

“With the help of Billy and Darren.

“The forward pack is well and truly up there with anything on the Sunshine Coast considering we have more players to come back too.”

Billy Rogers will take over the injured Trent Callaghan’s role at lock, while Burns will come off the bench to play as a back-rower to replace Kahler and Kane Ernst.

In another change, Mitch Heaton will slot into hooker to replace Shaun Wilson, who moves into five-eighth for the injured Craig Marshall.

Team List

1.Jake Harney, 2.Shaun Potter, 3.Ben Santowski, 4.Tim Wyvil, 5. Ben Ashford, 6.Shaun Wilson, 7.Dave Cutler, 8.Adam Starr, 9.Mitchell Heaton, 10. Riley McDowell, 11. Kris Kahler, 12. Kane Ernst, 13. Billy Rogers, 14.Trent Lovett, 15. Reece Coleman, 16. Darren Burns, 17. James Hogan.

A-grade kick off 6.30pm.

Reserve grade 4.45pm

Under-18s 3pm.

Gympie Times


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