Kirwan State High School are among seven schools set to take to the rugby league fields from Tuesday 2 June in the next stage of the annual Aaron Payne Cup, named in honour of North Queensland Toyota Cowboys’ life member Aaron Payne.

Last year’s grand final winners Kirwan SHS will join Abergowrie College, Ignatius Park College, Mackay State High, St Patrick’s (Mackay), St Brendan’s (Yeppoon) and The Cathedral College (Rockhampton) in this year’s open schoolboys round-robin competition.

The same teams are also involved in the Cowboys Challenge, an associated competition involving players 15 years and under, which runs in conjunction with the Aaron Payne Cup and kicks off at Townsville Brothers Leagues Club at 12.15pm on Tuesday 2 June.

“The goal of the competition is to develop young rugby league players from this region, and hopefully inspire them to pursue their dreams of playing locally,” Cowboys legend Aaron Payne said.

“The event has always been well supported by schools from all over North Queensland, particularly this year with two teams travelling from Mackay.

“The lineup of schools this year is sure to make for some friendly rivalry, with some great young talent competing for the title.”

Aaron will be on hand to present the Cup to the champions following the grand final, to be played as a curtain-raiser to the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys v Parramatta Eels Round 20 NRL match at 1300SMILES Stadium on Monday 27 July.