Redland cricket stars in state team

TWO rising Redland cricket stars have been named in the Queensland Under 19 team in its bid to win back-to-back national championship titles next month in Adelaide.

Redlands batsman Marnus Labuschagne will captain the team, while his Tigers club mate Sam Heazlett, the Queensland Under 17 captain, has also made the squad.

Five Australian Youth players will spearhead the team's bid to win successive titles.

Souths fast bowler Mark Steketee, Gold Coast quick Billy Stanlake, Norths paceman Josh McLelland Gold Coast batsman Nick Stevens and Valley allrounder Jack Wildermuth have all played for the Australian U-19 team in 2012, with Warwick product Steketee and Stevens members of the national side that finished second in the ICC World U-19 Cup in Queensland earlier this year.

Queensland has named a team that has all bar one player with premier grade experience, while Mackay all-rounder Joel Bruun has played senior country representative cricket.

Marnus, Bulls rookie contracted player Stevens, Steketee, Stanlake and McLelland all return from last season's championship team.

A number of the players turned out in the KFC T20 Challenge, with Marnus playing for the winning Country Inferno team.

Wynnum-Manly wicket-keeper Ben McDermott, the younger brother of Bulls and Brisbane Heat fast bowler Alister, graduates from the Queensland Under 17 team.

Sandgate-Redcliffe's recent winning form in the premier grade competition has seen two Gators included - spinner Mitchell Swepson and former Gladstone batsman Sam Lowry.

Bruun was a member of the Mackay-Whitsunday Nitros team that won the Northern conference of the Bulls Masters Cup T20 competition in the pre-season.

The team will be coached by former Queensland wicket-keeping great and current Bulls fielding coach Wade Seccombe and ex-Queensland Country coach Vic Williams, who is part of the QC High Performance team.

Last year's title win was the first time in 11 years that Queensland had won the national youth championship.