Fifteen schools will descend on Ingham this Friday for the annual Matthew Bowen 9s.
The open schoolboys competition is run by the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys in conjunction with St Teresa’s College – Abergowrie and is set to feature teams from All Souls St Gabriels School in Charters Towers to Ravenshoe State School in the Tablelands region and Bentley Park College in Cairns.
It will be the first time the competition has been run since 2018 after the 2019 version was ruined by the floods and the 2020 event called off due to a heatwave.
Games will be played at the home of the Herbert River Crushers due to the grounds at St Teresa’s being closed for renovations.
Townsville’s Southern Cross Catholic College will wear a specially designed Indigenous jersey based on sketches by students Riley Baker and William Abdul-Rahman.
“The goal for the Matthew Bowen 9s is to provide a positive and enjoyable rugby league experience for everyone involved with the competition,” Cowboys Game Development Manager Liam Bartlett said.
“The 9s allows the students to play a different, fast-paced format which allows players to showcase their raw skill.
“The decision to split the competition into two divisions has created a huge boost in interest, particularly among second-tier schools as it allows them to play against teams with similar talent pools.
“This competition would not be possible without the support of St Teresa’s College and we are also extremely grateful for the continued support of the Townsville District Rugby League Referee’s Association.”
Teams competing in the Matthew Bowen 9s
Southern Cross Catholic School
St Teresa’s College
Heatley Secondary College
St Anthony’s Catholic College
Ingham State High School
Ravenshoe State School
Gilroy Santa Maria College
All Souls St Gabriel's School
Bentley Park College
Kirwan State High School - Red
Kirwan State High School - Black
Kirwan State High School – White
Ignatius Park College – Blue
Ignatius Park College – White