The Intrust Super Cup’s newest club has unveiled its jerseys at a media launch in Townsville today less than 24 hours after officially being accepted into the competition.
North Queensland Toyota Cowboys 2011 NYC grand finalist Nathan Norford and former NQ Young Guns squad member Col Wilkie, who both hope to be Townsville Blackhawks in 2015, turned into models for the morning, showing off the home and away strips.
The home jersey is predominantly white with green and black on the chest and shoulders, while the away jersey is green with white and black trim.
The Intrust Super Cup’s expansion into Townsville comes on the back of the success of the Papua New Guinea Hunters, who left an indelible mark on the competition in their debut season.
Queensland Rugby League chairman Peter Betros officially informed more than 300 guests of the Blackhawks’ entry at Wednesday night’s annual QRL Gala Dinner at Brisbane City Hall.
The competition’s 14th team are set to play their home games out of Jack Manski Oval at Brothers Leagues Club.
The new club will have the backing of the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys, who will importantly maintain their affiliation with the Northern Pride and Mackay Cutters.
“This is a great opportunity for the kids coming through,” Blackhawks steering committee chairman Gary Lyons said.
“We’ve been pushing this for a couple of years now and the rugby league players in town are excited about the opportunities it will present.”
Jamie O’Connor, QRL general manager of major competitions, echoed those sentiments.
“We’ve identified for some time the need to have an Intrust Super Cup club in Townsville,” O’Connor said.
“It is the largest region outside of South-East Queensland and is a market that we want a significant foothold in.
“As it stands, a gap in the player pathway exists in Townsville for players over the age of 20.
“The Blackhawks provide a great opportunity for these players to continue their development through Intrust Super Cup and hopefully on to NRL and the XXXX Queensland Maroons.”
Townsville’s entry comes after the NRL approved recent applications for increased funding, the final condition of the fledgling club’s participation.
“Potential for expansion in second tier footy was recognised in the NRL’s Elite Pathways review and Townsville was already an area identified by us,” O’Connor said.
“This is another step towards a genuine state-wide competition and we look forward to their entry in 2015.
“There is now some work to be done with the existing clubs in regards to scheduling for the new season.”