The hard work now begins for these talented Bundaberg Rugby League Juniors, but they wouldn’t have it any other way.
The Rum City continues to deliver when it comes to producing talented players with seven making the under-18 and under-20 Central Queensland Capras extended squad for next season.
The Waves’ Kiya Schnabel, Past Brothers Tylen Wallace and Jai Smith along with Wests players Dyirun Johnson, Max Shorter, Max Betts and Livingston Lingawa have been picked for the Mal Meninga team (U18).
Past Brothers Myles Gal will join them but was selected in the Hastings Deering Colts (U20).
“Being called up to the Capras is an amazing moment for me,” Johnson said.
“They’ve got a good group to teach you and show you what to do and everything.” Johnson’s Capras selection finished a season where he played A-grade in the Bundaberg Rugby League and win the under-18 player of the year award.
He, with Betts, Shorter and Lingawa, also helped Wests win the under-18 premiership.
The teenager said he was prepared to hit the new challenge head on.
“I want to test myself and explore new things,” he said. “Making this team was an exciting moment.”
The Waves’ Kiya Schnabel also had a stellar season and heads to Rockhampton as not only a potential Capra but also as a premiership winner.
The front rower was one of the players that helped the Tigers beat the Wallaroos last month in the A-grade grand final.
“To win the final was pretty good with The Waves,” he said.
“Capras was also another goal for this year so to trial and make it was a pretty good achievement.”
Schnabel also has support in high places with his Tigers coach Antonio Kaufusi expecting him to make the final team.
“It gives you a lot of confidence (getting his support) but it comes down to hard work,” he said.
“When you put in the hard work you get rewards.
“If I get to the next part I’ll relocate to Rocky so I’ll train on a regular basis.”
Betts said he was happy to move as well if he was picked.
The winger added he was pleased to get this far and whatever happened next would be a bonus.
For Shorter, he was picked as a 17-year-old with one more year of schooling to go.
He might be a year younger than the others but don’t think that will stop him. “They invited me to go to their trials so that was pretty enticing to take up the opportunity,” he said. All players will now go into a preseason camp on November 10 with the Capras to then select a final squad.
Written by Shane Jones of Bundaberg NewsMail