Tweed's Ben Woolf appointed Queensland U20s Origin coach

 

TWEED coach Ben Woolf's reputation as one of Queensland rugby league's best young mentors has been underlined with his appointment as the Maroons' under-20s State of Origin coach.

Fresh off steering the Seagulls to their first Intrust Super Cup finals appearance since 2014, Woolf has been charged with moulding Queensland's elite under-20s for their curtain-raising clash with NSW before Origin 2 in Adelaide on June 3.

Among the players likely to be at his disposal are 2019 NRL debutants Tom Dearden, Xavier Coates (both Brisbane), Tanah Boyd (Gold Coast) and Tino Fa'asuamaleaui (Melbourne), as well as Seagulls products Ioane Seiuli and Juwan Compain.

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The Queensland squad and new coaching staff gathered for the first time for a short camp on the Sunshine Coast last weekend, with former Origin hardman Michael Crocker also involved as a mentor.

The camp focused predominantly on developing trust between players and staff, with Woolf setting benchmarks around the "effort areas" that are crucial in games at representative level.

"Michael Crocker was a great effort player himself and the message he gave them will be invaluable for them," Woolf said.

 

KEEP GOING: Tweed coach Ben Woolf is urging his team to keep their momentum going and achieve a second straight win.
KEEP GOING: Tweed coach Ben Woolf is urging his team to keep their momentum going and achieve a second straight win. Michael Doyle

 

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"This is a really good experience for me; it's the first time I have done any of the high-level rep stuff although I have done a lot of coaching in the (Intrust Super) Cup and 20s as well.

"I'm hoping to learn from the players as well and learn from the experience."

Woolf, the younger brother of Tonga and St Helens coach Kristian Woolf, spent four seasons as coach of the Titans' NYC side before taking over from Aaron Zimmerle at Tweed in 2018.

Zimmerle also coached the Queensland Residents team in 2015-16 during his time with the Seagulls.

Woolf's ISC players, including prized recruit Fetuli Talanoa, will have their first hitout of the season in a pre-season trial against a young Titans squad at Runaway Bay tomorrow.

The game, one of four featuring Tweed teams, was originally slated for Piggabeen Sports Complex but was moved because of consistent rain.

SATURDAY'S TRIAL SCHEDULE

■ 3pm - Tweed Under-18s vs. Northern Rivers-Titans Under-18s

■ 4.15pm - Tweed Women vs. Northern Rivers-Titans

■ 5.30pm - Tweed Under-20s vs. Northern Rivers-Titans Under-23s

■ 6.45pm - Tweed ISC vs. Gold Coast Titans