Teen star happy to bide time
HE LIVES with Ipswich Jets co-coach Ben Walker, his cousin is debuting for the Gold Coast Titans tonight and his brother is a Queensland Cup veteran.
No wonder Ipswich Mal Meninga Cup captain Kurt Capewell is being chased by the Brisbane Broncos.
Not that he is particularly interested in following in the footsteps of his star cousin Luke – not at the moment anyway.
“I don’t really care about the NRL right now. I just want to have fun with my mates and play some good footy,” Capewell said.
But do not mistake the apprentice carpenter’s relaxed attitude for ambivalence.
“He’s a really good kid and a great trainer,” Mal Meninga Cup team coach Chris Doyle said.
“What’s great about him is even though the Broncos are interested, he wants to wait and prove himself in the Queensland Cup during the next couple of years instead of playing under-20s.
“He wants to face up against men and do what his cousin Luke and guys like Matt Gillett did – come through the Queensland Cup ranks.”
Capewell, 17, will be in the Skilled Stadium grandstand tonight cheering for his cousin, who was outstanding in limited opportunities for South Sydney last year and won the hotly-contested Titans five-eighth spot ahead of Preston Campbell.
“Luke has done great so far and they’re some big shoes to fill,” Capewell said.
“I play pretty similar to Luke actually and we can both play anywhere in the backline.”
Capewell had been living with coach Walker since he finished school last year, but had to move in with his brother Liam because Walker’s North Booval home was flooded when the banks of the Bremer River broke on January 12.
Walker has been forced to live in a motel with his wife and children ever since.
Capewell said he would live with Walker again.
“Once his situation is sorted, I’ll move back in there, he’s pretty easy to live with,” Capewell said.
“Ben’s a great bloke. We love our barbeques. He gives you advice whenever you ask, just at dinner or whatever. Both of our families have been friends for years and I think he’s known me since I was two-years-old.”
Originally from Charleville, Capewell moved to Ipswich Grammar School in year 11 and starred at outside centre in the team’s first XV.
He was banned from playing rugby league while at the school but always knew he would return to the greatest game of all once his boarding tenure was finished.
He quickly made an impact for Norths late last season and was selected in the Jets’ Queensland Cup squad for pre-season training, along with his brother Liam.
He was then chosen to play the Melbourne Storm in a trial match last month and acquitted himself well. “I got bored playing union. I stood around a lot,” Capewell said. “I’ve always been a leaguie. Our family loves the game.
“I started playing at Norths once the rugby season was finished last year and was lucky enough to train with the Queensland Cup squad during the summer, which really helped my game.”
Capewell hopes to secure the Ipswich Mal Meninga Cup team’s first win today against the Gold Coast at Burleigh.