Thursday, August 24, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Rugby League Colts Rich In Talent

When St Patrick’s College Open Boys rugby league team launches its 2023 Secondary Schools campaign in coming weeks, they will take the field brimming with confidence and parading a squad with an enviable depth of talent.

Under the tutelage of former international Test centre and Townsville legend Ian Schifilitti, the Mackay colts have been training the house down in preparation for another dominant season in the Capricornia region.

Just like their female counterparts, the St Patrick’s senior boys outfit are aiming to go one step better in 2023 and bring home the Confraternity Shield and Aaron Payne Cup trophies.

After finishing runners up to archrivals Ignatius Park College Townsville in both competitions last season, the Mackay marauders are keen as ever to impress new coach Schifilitti and again taste championship success.

With the nucleus of the 2022 squad back on deck this season and bolstered by the inclusion of a batch of up-and-coming Year 10 rookies the sky's the limit for one of the region’s proudest sporting nurseries.

Boasting a spine that includes Queensland Country Under 17 representatives in classy hooker Xavier Kerrisk and skilful half back Jaxon Purdue plus dynamic fullback Will Shears, the St Patrick’s first grade line up shapes as a force to be reckoned with.

The much-vaunted trio along with promising lock forward Kayne Smith participated in a special pre-season camp in Townsville prior to Christmas as part of the North Queensland Cowboys Young Bucks squad.

They were joined by graduating St Patrick’s prospects in top forwards Liam Doherty and Matthew Watts and crack centre Kai Simon who attended the Cowboys’ Under 21 Young Guns camp.  

Other experienced senior players returning for St Patrick’s College this season include sharp backs Bailey Anderson, Tenzin Contor and Bailey Caruana.

The decorated Schifilitti – who played three Test matches for Italy at the 2000 Rugby League Emerging Nations Tournament in England - will also get the opportunity to blood talented Year 10 recruits in Sportsman of the Year Reuben Saron, a powerful and tireless prop; Queensland Schoolboys Under 15 representative forward Cohen Jackson along with emerging colts Saxon Crofts, Hunter Harris, Javen Ramsamy, Hudson Smith, utility half Kooper Shears and centres Toby Woodall and Lachlan Whippy.

By Chris Karas

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