South Qld coach hopes club fixtures don't hurt rep players
RUGBY UNION: South Queensland coach Stu Beakey has suggested his players don't lace up in local competitions this weekend but understands if they do, ahead of next week's Queensland Country Championships.
Ten players from the Sunshine Coast have been selected in the representative squad which will head to Bundaberg.
They include six players from Noosa's squad which has been unbeaten for the better part of two years, Wilson Enoka, John Southern, Kyle Beakey, Brandon Mayhew, Charlie McKill and Will Rogers.
Caloundra duo Liam Wynne and Mackenzie Burgess are also in the 24-man squad, while Maroochydore's James Turvey is expected to be captain.
Local reserve grader Matt Giquel, of Maleny, was also selected.
Beakey just hopes they don't get injured while playing for their respective clubs on Saturday.
"It's up to them (of they play) but their club rugby is fairly important to them," he said.
"My suggestion would be 'don't play' but I know what club rugby is like so I would expect all of them to play."
He's preparing for the worst.
"I'll be waiting for all the phone calls on Sunday and Monday,"
"They've all been told they have to contact me on Sunday with a yay or a nay.
"I have shadow players lined up just in case."
The SQ squad was selected from representative teams Sunshine Coast, Darling Downs and Gold Coast, which collided at a carnival on the Sunshine Coast last weekend.
He said this year's squad was a strong one and he expected them to mount a concerted title defence at Bundaberg.
"We've won the last two so we want to keep that rolling."
That Noosa has a considerable contingent is not surprising, given their winning streak in the Sunshine Coast A-grade competition.
"When you haven't lost a game in nearly two years it's not because you're lucky, it's because you've got good footballers and some of them are being rewarded for that," he said.
But experienced forward Turvey is likely to lead the team, in what could be his swansong at this level.
"Captaincy, it seems to make him a better player," Beakey said.
"He'll be keen, if he does go out, to go out a winner."
Giquel's presence in the squad is remarkable.
The young talent almost made the SQ team last year, when he was at Caloundra, but stormed into the side this year, despite playing in the Coast's reserve grade for the Bushrangers.
"He was a stand-out on the weekend (at the SQ championships). He's certainly the future of the Coast," Beakey said.
"I was a bit worried about how reserve grade would go with him but it doesn't seem to have affected him much."
"It's actually a bit of shame (he doesn't play A-grade) but he lives out there."
Beaker said it was pleasing to see 10 players from the Coast earn spots in the SQ squad.
"From a comp that's only got four A-grade sides it's a pretty good roll-up. It says there is some talent around the place here."
His Swans side meets Caloundra at Cotton Tree on Saturday (3.30pm), when University of the Sunshine Coast hosts Noosa.