CENTRAL Queensland rugby is adding some Pacific Island flair to the region with the appointment of former Samoan international player as head coach for the Queensland Country Championship.
Rockhampton-based Onehunga Matauiau, who is currently the CQ Brahmans coach, will select a team from the Brahmans, Central Highlands, Wide Bay and Western Queensland to compete at the championship at Port Douglas on June 6-9.
The Central Queensland Rugby Union said Matauiau brought a wealth of experience to this position, having worked across both junior and senior representative programs over the past several years for the region, including Queensland Country appointments. "As a former World Cup player and captain of Samoa, Onehunga beat several highly credentialled candidates to the position," CQ coaching director Steve Anderson said.
Matauiau is also the assistant coach of the CQ Regional Squad in 2014 and is a member of the Regional Development Panel that will provide Matauiau with a substantial background of the playing talent in the region, he says.
"He has a busy schedule ahead of him with several representative games still to be played in the Brahmans program - but I am sure he will be able to handle the extra workload over coming months," Mr Anderson said.
The CQ Regional Squad selected from Wide Bay, Central Highlands, CQ Brahmans and Western Queensland players will assemble in Rockhampton on May 16 for their initial training camp.
They will go on to play North Queensland and South Queensland and players from here are selected for Queensland Country.
Meanwhile, Matauiau had a good start to the season with the Brahmans, beating premier clubs Brisbane Norths and Gold Coast Eagles in pre-season games in February.
Last weekend, the team went on to beat Central Highlands 29-16, after losing to the Darling Downs in a close game last month.
This weekend at Rugby Park, Rockhampton, Western Queensland and Wide Bay will come up against the Brahmans on Friday night and Sunday morning.