Mountain men boost Jets for Intrust Super Cup

TOOWOOMBA continues to provide talented rugby league players to the Ipswich Jets with the club welcoming two new signings.

Tough forward Sam Capewell has joined his brothers Kurt and Liam at the Jets from Toowoomba Valleys while versatile Mitchell Koina, a premiership winner with the Wattles, has also linked with the club.

Jets co-coach Ben Walker said Koina was a handy pickup and was the next recruit in a steady stream of players to join the club from Toowoomba.

“Mitchell was the captain of the 20s in Toowoomba two years ago so he came through with Haydan Lipp, Ben White and Mitchell Tuite.

“We have a contingent of Toowoomba boys now, I think seven of them, and they are all starting to come through.

“They came through the 20s system in Toowoomba and the next step for them is to play Q Cup.

“There is no team in Toowoomba so they have to do it through us, which is great.

“We have been keeping an eye on these fellas for a couple of years.”

Walker said Koina could play in the halves or back-row.

“He has extreme talent,” Walker said.

“He just needs to start believing in himself and he will have a good season if he does. I have known him since he was born pretty much. He’s a great kid.”

Capewell plays second-row or prop and Walker said there was a lot to like about him.

“He is in the same vein as his brothers. He’s hard working, skilful and competitive…all the things that we look for.”

Ben Walker and fellow coach Shane Walker were both born in Toowoomba and grew up there.

“Having that connection ourselves helps. We understand how they roll up there,” Ben said.

The Jets were also hopeful that former Broncos 20s back Joel Koina would join the squad for pre-season training.

He also played in the Wattles premiership winning side but is out injured and will require shoulder surgery.

The Jets have only lost Javarn White (Capras) and Brendon Marshall (retired) from last year’s top 17.

They have also signed formerly Broncos contracted back Marmin Barba who was an outstanding performer for the Jets in 2014.

Barba will have a shoulder operation and is likely to miss a chunk of 2015.

While they have made no other big name signings, that has not worried the Jets before.

“We’ve signed everyone, bar two, from last year,” Walker said.

“And we’ll be better at what we do than last year.

“We don’t need to sign so-called stars.

“We can create them here ourselves.”