Connor Claridge, 12, has made the Queensland U12 Schoolboys rugby league side to play in Wollongong.
Connor Claridge, 12, has made the Queensland U12 Schoolboys rugby league side to play in Wollongong. Luka Kauzlaric

Calliope junior leads Queenslanders in rugby titles

CONNOR Claridge is about to embark on the biggest trip of his young life, heading south to Wollongong to mix it with the best rugby league players in the country.

A Calliope Roosters junior, Connor will compete as Queensland's five-eighth, a position he never envisaged filling when he began the journey back at Port Curtis trials.

"We started off at Port Curtis and I made Capricornia and then went to state trials and made Queensland," he said.

"I didn't expect to make it, not really. I am very excited."

Playing against every state except Tasmania, Connor will be one of only two players from outside Queensland's south-east corner to make the team.

At just 12 years old, Connor has the tough job of leading his side around the park and to victory.

A week of training with his teammates in Brisbane in the lead-up to the tournament beginning on August 9 will be the only chance Connor has to gel as a Queensland representative unit.

"We go down to Wynnum Manly for camp then to Wollongong on August 9," he said.

The Roosters player has big dreams, which the under-12 Queensland schoolboys team can help him towards. He hopes to follow in the footsteps of his favourite player, Johnathan Thurston.

"I want to make the Capras and make NRL and play for Australia," Connor said.

It is a path his former junior coach and the president of the Calliope Roosters, Trevor Huth, thinks the young talent can achieve.

When Huth and his brother Mick, owners of T&M Mechanical, found out about Connor's achievement they were on board straight away to help him financially.

"It is great, he deserves it and always put in 100% on the field," Huth said.

"It was a case of, we are in a position to help him out so we did."



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