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Rugby league’s famous Confraternity Carnival will return to Rockhampton for the fifth time after Queensland Independent Secondary Schools Rugby League awarded the hosting rights for the 2025 event.

The Cathedral College will host the 45th “Confro”, starting with the opening ceremony and Mass on Sunday 29 June followed by play from Monday 30 June to Friday 4 July 2025. Games will be played at Kettle Park and Saleyards Park.

Confraternity Carnival was played in Rockhampton for the first time in 1994 before returning in 1999, 2008 and 2016. Future stars to have played in Rockhampton carnivals include Matt Bowen (St Teresa’s College, Abergowrie), David Shillington (Padua College, Kedron), Kyle Feldt (Ignatius Park College, Townsville) and Michael Morgan (Ignatius Park College)

The 44th Carnival wrapped up in Townsville last Friday with host school Ignatius Park College regaining the Confraternity Shield to end an exciting week that featured 52 boys’ teams and 12 girls’ teams. CQ University sponsors a Carnival that features Catholic and Independent schools from across Queensland who gather in the “Spirit of Confraternity”.

Dozens of Queensland State of Origin players are “Confro” graduates, including current captain Daly Cherry-Evans (St Patrick’s College, Mackay) while the Carnival has produced more than 140 NRL players.

QISSRL President Peter Elmore said he was delighted that The Cathedral College would host the Carnival.

“This Carnival grows in size every year so it takes plenty of hard work to organise and we are grateful to have the energy and the expertise of The Cathedral College to stage the 2025 gathering,” Mr Elmore said.

“This Carnival provides a significant economic injection for host cities with more than 1600 players and coaching staff participating along with their many family members who attend for the week.

“We saw again in Townsville how much this Carnival means to the players who participate, their coaches and to their families. Memories are made at this Carnival that remain with the players for many years.

“Rockhampton has a wonderful history of education and of participation in rugby league. We are looking forward to next year.”

The Cathedral College has been among the best Confro schools since it joined QISSRL in 1993. The College claimed its inaugural Confraternity Shield last year when its girls’ team completed a stirring victory.

Principal Rob Alexander said the 2025 Carnival participants would be welcomed to Rockhampton as The Cathedral College hosted the event for the fourth time.

“We’re proud of our city Rockhampton to welcome Confraternity next year. Our well-maintained venues, facilities and amenities are all conveniently located for visitors who could number in excess of 4000 and our Rockhampton community is warm and welcoming,” Mr Alexander said.

“We’re grateful to Rockhampton which will welcome the many visitors to town continuing the great tradition of Rockhampton hospitality.

“The Confraternity Carnival is a celebration of sportsmanship, our community, and the values that define our Catholic education. At The Cathedral College, we are committed to fostering an environment in which every individual feels valued and part of our extended family. We are proud to share our beautiful campus and the vibrant spirit of Rockhampton with visiting teams.

“Our dedicated staff will work tirelessly to ensure that this Carnival is a memorable and enriching experience for everyone involved.”