Central Queensland Capras are a semi-professional rugby league football club based in Rockhampton, Queensland. They currently play in the Queensland Cup, the premier rugby league competition in Queensland.
The club was founded in 1996 under the name Central Capras; in 2000 the name was changed to the Central Comets and, in 2011, it was reverted to the Central Queensland Capras.
In the 1980s the Central Queensland Capras had entered a team in the Queensland Winfield State League Competition. Their colours were Sky Blue and Maroon at that time. In 1996 the Queensland Rugby League Central Division entered a representative team, the Central Capras in the inaugural Queensland Cup competition. The costs were too expensive for the Central Division to maintain, and in October 1998 it was decided that a private club should be entered into the Queensland Cup. Although this team was known as the Central Capras in 1999, it was decided to rename the team to the Central Comets to avoid confusion with the Capras representative teams.
The Central Queensland Comets have a short but strong history in the Central Queensland region, and participate in the statewide Queensland Wizard Cup competition.
The story began in 1996, with a Central Queensland Representative Team playing statewide in 1996, 1997 and 1998. During this time, the team was run by the Queensland Rugby League Central Division. The cost involved with running a team at this level is enormous, and the Central Division did a tremendous job to remain in this competition for three years.
For the 1999 season, the Capras Rugby League Football Club was formed, which relieved the Central Division of the cost, providing more funds to the Central Division to develop and maintain Rugby League in Central Queensland.
In 2000, the Capras team that participated in the Queensland Cup changed their name to the Comets Rugby League Football Club. With a new name and fresh look, the Comets have represented the top level of football in Central Queensland for six years. (The Capras still remains as the name for the Central Queensland representative sides).
In 2002 the Comets formed an alignment with NRL team North Queensland Cowboys. This close alignment provided opportunities for development of the Comets Rugby League Football Club, as well as providing opportunities and pathways for players to the NRL.
IN late 2007, the Comets ceased their alignment with the Cowboys and formed a far more beneficial alignment with the Brisbane Broncos. This relationship is still in place and has seen the Comets and the Broncos prosper through the development of local players. The arrangement with the Broncos sees Broncos-contracted players that are not named in the weekly NRL side return to their home region and play for the Comets. Dave Taylor, PJ Marsh, Tommy Hewitt, Ben Hunt and Guy Williams have all played for the Comets while being contracted to the Broncos.
The alignment with the Broncos has allowed current players to experience what it is like to train in a NRL environment. Through this arrangement, Aaron Summers, Jade Williams, Ty Haynes and Ian Webster got the opportunity to develop their skills under the watchful eye of Broncos coach Ivan Henjak by training with the Broncos side once a week during the 2009/10 preseason.
With facilities rated among the best in the competition, the Rockhampton Leagues Club and Browne Park provide a fantastic home ground for the Comets, and for Rugby League in Central Queensland. The support from local sponsors and fans has been outstanding over the years; without this support it is unlikely that the Comets could function successfully.
In terms of success, 2009 has been the Comets most successful season to date. During the season, the Comets side set a club record winning 10 matches in a row during the season and made the finals for the first time. The Comets finished the season in third place after beating eventual winners the Sunshine Coast Sea Eagles in the first semi-final but losing out to the Northern Pride in the major semi-final.
Following the completion of the 2011 Intrust Super Cup the club entered into a rebuilding phase with a new executive committee taking control led by local business Steve McCosker. Approached by club stakeholders, McCosker replaced Scott Chapman as chairman of the executive committee. The Comets hit financial problems during 2011 with the club struggling to pay players wages but following a pitch from Comets officials the Rockhampton Leagues Club agreed to provide additional funds on top of the $200,000 they already provide through sponsorship to the Comets. Motivated by the rich history of Central Queensland rugby league the new committee reverted the name of the club back to the Central Queensland Capras. The Capras is still the name used for all Representative sides from Central Queensland and according to Chairman Steve McCosker "The Capra symbolises Central Queensland and much of (the sport's) history". John Harbin was named coach of the Central Queensland Capras on 24 September.1996 - 11th
1997 - Preliminary Semi-Finalists
1998 - 11th
1999 - 11th
2000 - 8th
2001 - 7th
2002 - 9th
2003 - 10th
2004 - 9th
2005 - 11th
2006 - last
2007 - 11th
2008 - 7th
2009 - 3rd
2010 - 10th
2011 - 11th
2012 - 10th