Pundits marvel at number of top players from Ipswich region
THE capacity of the catchment area of the Western Corridor NRL side to produce the greatest players the game has seen is truly extraordinary.
When the Queensland team of the century was announced in 2008 only four players - Gene Miles, Cecil Aynsley, Wally Lewis and Brian Davies - weren't produced or didn't play for teams based in the western corridor.
"We have 10 who were products of the western corridor and three others have played in the corridor-based clubs," Western Corridor bid chairman Steve Johnson said.
"The coach Wayne Bennett was from here and played here."
Darren Lockyer (fullback), Tom Gorman (centre), Mal Meninga (centre), Denis Flannery (wing), Allan Langer (halfback), Duncan Hall (prop), Noel Kelly (hooker), Peter Madsen (prop), Arthur Beetson (second-row), Bob Lindner (lock), Jimmy Craig (reserve), Duncan Thompson (reserve) and Herb Steinohrt (reserve) all played for western corridor-based sides at some stage of their career or were produced within its boundaries.
The western corridor bid will have Intrust Super Cup clubs the Ipswich Jets and Souths-Logan as its feeder teams and will have Toowoomba and the regions west as part of its catchment area.
Johnson said the hope was that Toowoomba would be an Intrust Super Cup side by 2018.
"The important part of our model is that we bring rugby league back to Toowoomba and the greater west of Queensland, which has been missing ever since the Broncos left in 2004. It is a travesty that a city of 130,000 people has no rugby league above club level."