Young footy players excited about ‘celebrity’ coach

RUGBY LEAGUE: CQ Capras recruit Jack Gibbons is aiming to make a big impression on the field this season and he is also keen to have a big influence off it.

The 22 year old is looking to secure a place in the Capras starting line-up but will likely have to wait until Round 3 of the Intrust Super Cup after suffering a shoulder injury in a pre-season trial against Mackay at the weekend.

The centre, who moved to Rockhampton in October last year after two seasons with the Western Suburbs Magpies in the Ron Massey Cup, produced an eye-catching display against the Cutters before being forced from the field.

Gibbons said he had jumped at head coach David Faiumu’s offer to join the Capras, declaring it was a great opportunity to play high-level rugby league.

He also had no hesitation when asked to help coach the Rockhampton Brothers Blue under-9 side.

Gibbons and Steve Raine will share the coaching duties for the season, which kicks off in April.

Jack Gibbons put in an impressive performance against the Mackay Cutters on Saturday before suffering a shoulder injury. Picture: Jann Houley
Jack Gibbons put in an impressive performance against the Mackay Cutters on Saturday before suffering a shoulder injury. Picture: Jann Houley

Raine helped coach last year after his son Lachlan decided that he wanted to play footy.

“Last year was basically about starting them off on the techniques and drilling that into them,” Raine said.

“This year it’s just refining those skills and giving them a bit more confidence in what they’re doing.

“We also want to see them running around having some fun.”

Raine said it was great to have Gibbons involved and the youngsters were excited about working with a player with “celebrity status”.

Gibbons said he was happy to give back to the community and the game.

“If they look up to me and they can get something out of my rugby league knowledge and my help this year, that’s massive because I know what that was like when I was their age,” he said.

“I remember when we had first graders and people we knew were playing rep footy how much of a kick I got out of it and how much I learnt.

“If I can help these young fellas do the same, that’s the biggest thing for me. We want to get them confident and really enjoying themselves.”

Gibbons said he hoped the Capras would also enjoy on-field success this season.

“The bunch of boys we’ve got are really tight and I actually haven’t been with a group that’s worked as hard in a pre-season as we have this year,” he said.

“The early signs are quite promising but we’ll see how we go when we start playing.”

Faiumu said Gibbons’ shoulder injury was not as serious as first thought and he should be back in action by the end of the month.

“Jack is a great trainer and has a high work rate which is what we want,” he said.

“He is powerful, strong and has good footwork and is sure to gain some momentum for us around the ruck.”

The Capras are on the road for their season-opener against Easts Tigers on March 15.