The south-west Queensland town of Charleville will transform into ‘Kurtsville’ today, in honour of hometown hero Kurt Capewell who will play in his first State of Origin decider tonight.
The Charleville product made his Origin debut in game one of this year’s series.
Capewell made his presence in the team known in the series opener, setting up Queensland’s first try after 48 minutes with no points on the scoreboard.
With the Maroons down 10–0 following halftime, the utility player broke past a flimsy tackle attempt by Blues player Clinton Gutherson and took a punt on an awkward kick which landed in the hands of fellow debutant AJ Brimson, who got it over the line.
Promise kept by mayor
In honour of Capewell playing the full series, Charleville Mayor Shaun ‘Zoro’ Radnedge ordered the entrance signs to the town to be changed to say ‘Kurtsville’.
Councillor Radnedge said he made the promise at the beginning of the series as a bit of a joke.
“It was said that if he played the three games that I would change the name of Charleville to Kurtsville for 24 hours,” Cr Radnedge said.
“So on Friday I was reminded of that, that we heard that Kurt was going to be playing his third straight State of Origin.
“How good it is that we have a representative of a town of 3,300 that we can supply not only someone playing in the NRL … but to actually have one playing State of Origin and play three [games] and have a major part?”
‘He’s one of us’
Councillor Radnedge said the 27-year-old, who made his NRL debut in 2016 for the Cronulla Sharks and was part of this year’s Penrith Panthers grand final team, was an inspiration for local footy players.
“He’s one of our own and how he’s going to inspire some of these younger boys and girls to what they can achieve on the football field is great,” he said.
Councillor Radnedge said he hoped the gimmick would provide some light relief for locals who have battled nine years of drought.
“Just these little feel good stories that, you know, on Wednesday night it might just take people’s minds off things,” he said.