Craig Buckley is the new coach for the Bundaberg Rep League side.
Craig Buckley is the new coach for the Bundaberg Rep League side. Mike Knott

47th Battalion team to prosper

The 47th Battalion Bundaberg representative side is set to prosper under the guidance of a new high-profile coaching team.

Multiple premiership-winning coach Craig Buckley will take the helm of the team, with former NRL player Sean Hoppe assisting with his duties.

Buckley co-coached Brothers to premiership success in 2005 and 2007 and previously led the Battalion team to victory in 2004.

Hoppe will bring experience from his stint as a New Zealand international player and tenures with the Canberra Raiders and Auckland Warriors.

Bundaberg’s best and brightest league talents will be hand-picked from club teams to make up the Battalion squad.

Buckley said the representative side would be perfect for budding talents looking to refine their skills.

“Hoppe and I have both been around the block a few times and we’ll be looking to bring out the best in our players,” he said.

“For people serious about their football playing in this comp is going to be just the thing.

“It will be hard work but the rewards are there.”

Buckley said there would be no shortage of talent for his team.

“There are players in town with the ability to go all the way and hopefully playing rep football will give them the opportunity to get there,” he said.

“They really need to apply themselves and to put their talents on display.”

In selectors’ sights for the squad are former Bronco Steve Irwin, former Queensland under-18 player Brent Kuskey and Hervey Bay upstarts Clinton Horne and Tyrone Hopgood.

The team will be up against representative teams from Gladstone, Rockhampton, the Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, Central West and Central Highlands.

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