Beattie to lead Queensland Country Heelers against NSW

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By Community Rugby

Sunshine Coast flanker Tom Beattie will lead a strong 23-man Queensland Country Heelers squad into battle against NSW Country on Saturday in Townsville. 

Queensland Country Heelers Head Coach Morgan has announced his Heelers line-up following a three day camp in Townsville and conceded it was difficult to select his final 23 from the 30 country and regional based players in the wider group.
“I took an unbiased approach when it came to selections, and I’m really proud of the eight country players who have come through and made the side,” said Morgan.
“Most of our decision making positions are filled by country players at the moment with Harry Elliot (Central Highlands) at number eight, Matty George (Noosa) at halfback and Shaun McCarthy (Townsville) at flyhalf.”
Beattie, who also captains Queensland Premier Rugby side the Sunshine Coast Stingrays, said he was excited to lead the Heelers into battle after previously captaining the side against NSW Country in 2011.
“It’s an honour and a privilege to lead the Heelers this weekend,” said Beattie.
“It’s been two years since I last captained the side and the team is looking really good and gelling well, so I’m looking forward to getting out there with the boys and doing my best for the team.”
Morgan said he was also excited about a number of combinations and believes his centre pairing and sizeable front row will be big assets.
“We have a really exciting centre combination in Matt Gandy and TJ (Tereta-Junior) Siakisini, and outside them we have Far North Queensland winger Dale Ah Wong who is another thrilling prospect,” he said.
“We have a strong front row with Tom Kearney (Noosa) at hooker, Rikki Abraham (Townsville) at tighthead and Haydn Hirsimaki (Stingrays) at loosehead and these boys should be handy at the scrum.
“Haydn was basically an automatic pick for me, his is an excellent prop and he is all about country rugby which is a major factor for me in selection.”
2013 is a massive year for Country Rugby in both Queensland and NSW with players having the chance to progress through to a combined Queensland & NSW Country side, which will take on the touring British and Irish Lions on June 11 in Newcastle.
This match in Townsville will be the player’s first chance to impress ahead of a 30 man squad announcement for the combined side on May 19.
Queensland Country Heelers team to play NSW Country
Saturday May 4, 5:30pm, Mike Carney Toyota Park, Townsville
1.   Haydn Hirsimaki- Sunshine Coast
2.   Tom Kearney- Sunshine Coast
3.   Rikki Abraham- Townsville
4.   Rubin Fuimaono- Gold Coast
5.   Jason Welburn- Sunshine Coast
6.   Dan Collins- Gold Coast
7.   Tom Beattie (C)- Sunshine Coast
8.   Harry Elliott- Central Highlands
9.   Matty George- Sunshine Coast
10. Shaun McCarthy- Townsville
11. Sonny Rea- Far North Queensland
12. Matt Gandy- Sunshine Coast
13. Tereta-Junior Siakisini- Gold Coast
14. Dale Ah-Wong- Far North Queensland
15. Jay Forrester- Sunshine Coast
16. Josh Cooper- Gold Coast
17. James Turvey- Sunshine Coast
18. William Slipper- Gold Coast
19. Rory Arnold- Gold Coast
20. Martin Collins- Gold Coast
21. Luke Evans- Gold Coast
22. Lee Anderson- Central Queensland
23. George Duddy- Gold Coast
Head Coach: Garrick Morgan    
Assistant Coach: Scott Barnes 
Assistant Coach: Brett Johnstone         
Manager: Dan Bowdler 
Physio: Morgan Pratt & Mark Brownlie  


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