PICKED: Wallaroo Ethan Hutton-Ward  is one of the players that will play in under-20 that could play for under-18.
PICKED: Wallaroo Ethan Hutton-Ward is one of the players that will play in under-20 that could play for under-18. Brian Cassidy

BRL confirms no U18s for 47th Battalion

RUGBY LEAGUE: Bundaberg Rugby League chairman Mike Ireland is adamant not fielding an under-18 side is in the best interests of the association.

The NewsMail revealed last Thursday there will be no under-18 side competing at the 47th Battalion in Murgon later this month.

The main reason given is a lack of players because of the Confraternity carnival that is being held in Bundaberg at the same time.

There have been comments on social media asking for more explanation and arguing that the region could still field a quality side despite players being involved in other events.

But Ireland disagrees.

"The decision was made in the best interests,” he said.

"There's not enough quality players to be competitive.

"The decision was not made just by me, even though everyone thinks that, it was made by the board and ratified by the Queensland Rugby League.”

Ireland said when you took out the players unavailable in the Confraternity and the under-20 side from the under-18s, there wasn't enough out of the others, that make up the four teams in the under-18 competition, to make a side to do well.

He pointed out the under-20 side was ready to go and had a good first hit-out last week.

"We had 18 out of the 19 selected turn up, with one unavailable due to work,” he said.

"We had one player, who was injured, turn up from Hervey Bay to be there to let everyone know he was committed.”

The side plays in the 47th Battalion on June 29 and 30.