Bronco pads up
BRISBANE Broncos hooker Andrew McCullough will trade his footy boots for a cricket bat this weekend in Warwick.
For the third successive year, McCullough will play for Max's XI in the Australia Day Carnival, a team which plays in memory of the late Max Thorley.
Like McCullough, Max was a star playing for South West in junior state cricket championships.
McCullough first played juniors for Queensland at under-12 primary school level, mainly as a batsman.
Except for one weekend a year in Warwick, McCullough has concentrated all his sporting energy into forging an NRL career with the Brisbane Broncos.
He and former Warwick Cowboys and current Brisbane Norths player Ben Sullivan share a house at Ascot in Brisbane and have been sneaking off to the nets once or twice a week this month to prepare for the weekend carnival.
"We have been rolling the arm over a bit," McCullough said.
For McCullough, this weekend is all about catching up with friends like Sullivan, Geoff Thorley, Shaun Fisher, John Trindall and their Max's XI team-mates.
McCullough is originally from Dalby where his parents and many relatives live and first met many of his Max's XI teammates through inter-city rugby league.
"Warwick has the same sort of country feel as Dalby," he said.
"We can have a game of cricket and a few beers and it is for a good cause."
On the cricket field, McCullough said his main aim was to put bat on ball and score a few runs. He reckons his best shot is the pull.
McCullough said he would be a bit filthy if there was a scheduled Broncos training session this weekend to cut into his cricket carnival.
"If there was training, there is nothing I could do about it," he said.
In the professional era of sport, everything else comes second to training but the Broncos players have this weekend off.
As for the 2012 rugby league season, McCullough said he and the team had done all the right things in a tough pre season.
"I have set some rugby league goals this season and want to achieve them," he said.
While he would love to play State of Origin, McCullough said being consistent in club footy was his focus at the moment.
Games from 8.30am Saturday and Sunday
Seven venues in Warwick and at Allora, Wheatvale and Maryvale
Final at 1pm Sunday at Slade Park