NQ se­lec­tion for Kai

Whitsunday Times - - SPORT -

He ar­rived at the North Queens­land tri­als in Townsville as a ju­nior Brahman on rep­re­sen­ta­tive du­ties but Kai O’Don­nell left as the player of the com­pe­ti­tion and one of the first picked in the un­der-16 Mar­lins team.

Such was his form at the North Queens­land cham­pi­onships play­ing for Mackay; the 16-year-old was recog­nised as the best at the car­ni­val and will now rep­re­sent North Queens­land at the state ti­tles in Bris­bane next month.

“I feel very priv­i­leged,” he said. “At the start (of the car­ni­val) I didn’t think I’d make it, I knew I had to work for it. But I got con­fi­dent to­wards the end.” The lock is also good friends with fel­low prod­uct and Queens­land un­der-16 rep­re­sen­ta­tive Nathan Bar­rett, who he watched score the game-win­ning try just weeks ago. “He pushes me harder, he’s one of my good mates,” Kai ex­plained. “We used to com­pete with each other all the time. If he can do it (rep­re­sent Queens­land), I can.” Kai will go into camp with the North Queens­land Mar­lins on June 27 be­fore the state car­ni­val be­gins in Bris­bane on July 1. The Mar­lins will play five games be­fore a Queens­land squad is picked. “That’s my goal (to be picked in the Queens­land squad),” Kai said.

RIS­ING STAR: Lo­cal Brahman Kai O’Don­nell will rep­re­sent North Queens­land.

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