Queensland Cup launch festivities today

Watch your first Queensland Wizard Cup game of the season for free by scoring one of 200 family passes up for grabs at Saturday's public launch in Brisbane's Queen Street Mall.

Commensurate with the reinvigoration of community football, the special launch will kick-off at 10am at the river end of the mall, hosted by league larrikins Kevin and Steve Walters.

Kevin will this year coach the Ipswich Jets in the Wizard Cup, having previously won a premiership with the Toowoomba Clydesdales. Brother Steve also has a background in the State League, featuring for the Townsville Stingers in 1998 and being another proud Ipswich product.

Helping them to celebrate the start of the Wizard Cup's 12th season will be past graduates Brent Tate and Justin Hodges, along with members of top-rating Nova 106.9FM.

Representatives of the 11 current competing clubs are set to appear on stage, along with junior players from nearby teams.

Fans will have the opportunity to secure autographs and photographs, loads of giveaways and several special prizes - including family passes granting access for two adults and two children to the game of their choice.

On top of this there'll be commemorative posters, stick-on tattoos and a pass-the-ball competition to boot.

Since its inception in 1996 the Queensland Wizard Cup has been home to more than 400 players who have either progressed to the NRL or returned from the national comp to fight for their local club.

Among these have been Steve Renouf, Greg Inglis, Carl Webb, Petero Civoniceva, Shaun Berrigan, Cameron Smith, Billy Slater, Matty Bowen, Darren Smith and Brent Webb.

The competition also fills an important role for those extremely gifted players who would prefer to focus on career and family and play football in a more intimate atmosphere.

While this season brings up a dozen years for the Cup, it's also the 99th year of Queensland Rugby League, with many of the competing teams established the best part of a century ago.

The public launch precedes the traditional media and sponsors launch, to be held this year at Eagle Farm Racecourse on Thursday March 15.

WHAT: Queensland Wizard Cup Public Launch

WHEN: Saturday, March 3. 10AM - 12NOON

WHERE: Queen Street Mall, Brisbane (River End)