Not everyone is on school holidays – more than 1000 of the best rugby league players in Queensland’s Catholic schools are staying back for the famous Confraternity Carnival.
They will join a stellar roll of players who have competed in a Carnival that was first held in 1980. Since then, Johnathan Thurston, Wendell Sailor, Matt Scott, Ben Hunt, Matt Bowen, Nate Myles and new Queensland State of Origin forward Coen Hess have featured in the schoolboys’ tournament.
Padua College, in Brisbane’s northern suburbs, will host this year’s Carnival at its playing fields at Banyo. Matches will also be held nearby at Australian Catholic University.
Padua College Rector Peter Elmore said 48 teams would play in the Carnival, which begins with a Mass on Sunday (June 25) followed by matches on June 26, 27, 29 and 30.
“Padua College is proud to have been one of six schools to contest the first Confraternity Carnival,” Mr Elmore said.
“The Carnival has grown in size but it remains an event in which sportsmanship, respect and fellowship are most highly valued.”
The Confraternity Carnival now attracts entries from Brisbane’s traditional rugby union schools including Marist College, Ashgrove, St Patrick’s College, Shorncliffe and St Laurence’s College, South Brisbane.
They have their work cut out against their northern counterparts, who continue to dominate the Confraternity Shield competition.
Ignatius Park College, Townsville, won its fifth Confraternity Shield last year to inch closer to St Brendan’s, Yeppoon (13 wins) and St Patrick’s, Mackay (eight) in the overall list of champion schools.
Mount St Bernard College, Herberton and St Mary’s College, Woree will contest the carnival for the first time. They will play against the likes of Good Shepherd Catholic College, Mount Isa, and Xavier Catholic College, Hervey Bay.
Padua prepared for its hosting role by recently naming its greatest rugby league team from past students.
The school’s rugby league history was underlined by the quality of players in its team including Paul Vautin, Dane Carlaw, David Stagg, David Shillington, Shane Perry and Paul McCabe.
Vautin was named as captain of the team, which included five State of Origin representatives and four Kangaroos representatives.