Karana Downs Lions players Nathan Wilson, John Stafford, Austin Bishop, James Wilson and Jett Young are set for a big weekend.
Karana Downs Lions players Nathan Wilson, John Stafford, Austin Bishop, James Wilson and Jett Young are set for a big weekend. David Nielsen

Lions to play Reds curtain raiser

IF every cloud has a silver lining, the Karana Downs Lions Rugby Club under-8s and 10s have found theirs following the floods.

Only four houses existed in the area in the 1974 flood, so estimates of the threat this time round were sketchy at best.

“Everyone was saying it might come up half a metre,” club president Mark Young said.

They were wrong. The club's playing fields and clubhouse were submerged.

The club suffered about $70,000 worth of damage with their new kitchen written off, along with a heap of rugby gear.

The club is waiting to hear from insurers but hopes are not high they will be covered.

But for two of the Lions' junior teams, the chance to play at Suncorp Stadium in a curtain-raiser for the Queensland Reds' opening Super 15 match is ample compensation.

The Reds have stepped in, arranging replacement gear from clubs with surpluses, should insurance not eventuate, and offering the Lions under-8s and 10s the chance of a lifetime on February 20 when the Reds play the Western Force.

Coincidentally, Force halfback James Stannard's family home at Karalee, where his parents still live, was submerged in the floods.

The Lions are holding their junior sign-on tomorrow for children up to 10-years-old, with a come-and-try day Sunday, both from 9am-1pm at Anthony Short Oval, Illawong Way.

Sunday will include jumping castle, rugby demonstrations and other activities, sausage sizzle, drinks and treats.

It is not just for Lions players either, with an invitation extended to anyone, particularly those from flood-hit Karalee, who are looking for a day of fun.

“It is a big thing for the people of Karalee and a big chance for them to come out as well,” Young said.

The club will also provide assistance to help families of flood victims cover their 2011 registration fees.

For more information, call Mark Young on 3201 1295.



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