Downs squad shaping well for championships
DARLING Downs officials are monitoring the fitness of fullback George Stacey in the hope of lining up with an intact squad for this weekend's South Queensland Championship.
The championship will be fought out between Downs, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast at Dalby's John Ritter Oval.
Downs and Sunshine Coast meet Friday night with Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast facing off on Saturday and Downs tackling Gold Coast from 3pm Sunday.
The three teams also meet in the under-19 championship with games played as curtain-raisers to the open matches.
Downs selectors, headed by coach Nathan Bradley, last week named a 24-man squad for its title defence.
Players came through last weekend's Risdon Cup round virtually unscathed with Stacey the only doubtful starter as he tries to overcome a knee injury in time for Friday night's 8 o'clock kick-off.
Downs Rugby general manager Mitch Simpson said no shadow player for Stacey has been named at this stage.
"George Stacey is the only player under a little bit of an injury cloud but Nathan Bradley is likely to hold off naming a possible replacement for now," Simpson said.
"Otherwise the squad is intact and ready to put up a stern championship defence.
"We are looking forward to having the event back on home soil this year.
"The Dalby club has an outstanding venue and has been excellent in helping prepare for what is a big weekend for the town."
Teenage and women's sevens' matches also feature on Saturday, with games from 11.20am.
DARLING DOWNS SENIOR SQUAD
Angus Ramsey, Brett Corish, Dan Merker, Declan Wheeler, Eddie Dean, George Stacey, Harry Hawker, Hugh Brosnan, James Wreford, Jay Schulte, Lachlan Tulloch, Levi Power, Mick Gall, Pete Harding, Rob Walton, Robert Patterson, Sam Hogarth (c), Sam Jobling, Sam Tweedy, Sonny Power, Stu Bougoure, Todd Daniels, Will Gilbert (vc), Will Walton. Coach: Nathan Bradley. Assistant coach: Steve Toohey. Manager: Jodi Toohey. Trainer: Lindsay Ashby