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By ARU Media Unit
After 18 months of preparation for the competition, the Junior Gold Cup commences tonight at Ballymore with Brisbane Yellow taking on Gold Coast. The competition has 24 competing centres across Australia with teams in both the 15’s and 17s category will compete over six weeks to see who will be crowned the inaugural Junior Gold Cup champion.
The JGC includes teams from Regional NSW and Queensland, Western Australian, South Australia and teams from Victoria, Sydney and Brisbane. The competition is a conference based system, with a northern and southern conference competing amongst themselves, before the grand final on Saturday, 5 April where the best of the two conferences come together.
Tonight at Ballymore, the JGC Gold Coast team will have their work cut out for them as they take on Brisbane Yellow in front a packed stadium as the curtain raiser before Queensland Reds take on the Melbourne Rebels in their final preseason trail match.
Both sides have been training since last November and are reportedly “chomping at the bit to get out there and play”, according to Brisbane JGC Coordinator, Michael Grice.
“Our Brisbane sides have been training hard since last November and it’s going to be a blockbuster clash at Ballymore tonight”.
The Brisbane Yellow side brings some representative experience to the table with Lock, Tuaina Tualima and Halfback, Harry Parcell both having represented Queensland at the Under 16 level.
According to Brisbane Yellow coach, Kelevi Tuicolo will look for his team to play an open, quick game of running Rugby which is sure to excite the fans at Ballymore.
Not to be outdone, Gold Coast has also been working hard south of Brisbane in preparation for their tilt to be JGC Champions. Gold Coast JGC Coordinator, Murray Archibald is confident his side can beat Brisbane Yellow at home and start the season strongly.
“Our Head Coach of the under 17’s, Garrick Morgan, a former Wallaby himself has instilled some old school Wallaby values into our guys”.
“We’re touch, proud and fast and we’re looking forward to the rivalry between Brisbane and Gold Coast.
“We’re always seen as the poorer cousins and this provides a lot of motivation for us”.
The Gold Coast team is bolstered by the leadership of halfback, Nick White and Vice-Captain, Jamison Quirk at open side flanker.
The match will commence at 5.30pm (AEST) at Ballymore, Queensland.
The IRB has announced its match officials list for the second stage of the 2014 IRB Junior World Championships overnight, with two Australians appointed to referee two of the games in New Zealand on Sunday.