Three Central Queensland Capras players are set to benefit from a pre-season training stint with new NRL team the Dolphins.
Under the Capras’ affiliate agreement with the Dolphins, a trio of players will spend their off-season improving their games alongside true NRL star players.
They will train full time under NRL conditions in the Dolphins’ main squad, which will assemble for training for the first time on November 7.
The three players are middle forwards Bailey Butler, Tyler Szepanowski and Lachlan Hubner.
A 24-year-old front rower, Butler has played 28 Hostplus Cup matches for the Capras, including his 2022 breakthrough season where he appeared in 21 games.
Training at the Dolphins base will not be a new experience for Butler, who actually made his Hostplus Cup debut for the Redcliffe Dolphins in 2018.
Hubner is a Rockhampton-born lock who will also get a chance to train with the NRL squad.
The 22-year-old only made his Hostplus Cup debut last year but has already racked up 37 matches for the Capras.
Szepanowski is another young front rower who played every match for the Capras last year, making his 37th Hostplus Cup appearance in the Capras’ finals loss to minor premiers Burleigh.
Dolphins’ chief executive Terry Reader said the Dolphins were determined to grow the game in Central Queensland and assisting the Capras to improve their players was part of that commitment.
“This is a genuine opportunity for players to improve their games while training alongside athletes of the calibre of internationals like Jesse and Kenny Bromwich and Origin-experienced players such as Felise Kaufusi, Anthony Milford and Tom Gilbert,” said Reader.
This will give these players the chance to learn what it takes to make it at the highest level and to show they can progress to the NRL.