Their hopes of making the Sheffield Shield final are shot but the Queensland Bulls will still have plenty to play for when they welcome South Australia to the Gabba on Friday.
With captain James Hopes’s future up in the air, what could be his farewell match will also double as a welcoming party for a player exactly half his age – highly-rated teenage batsman Matthew Renshaw.
Renshaw, 18, comes into the Bulls squad in place of allrounder Michael Philipson and is in rare form, having smashed scores of 150 for Toombul in Brisbane Grade Cricket and 175 for the Queensland Academy of Sport last week against Victoria.
“He’s scored three centuries in the past month and a bit, at differing levels, with two of them being scores of 150 or above,” said interim Bulls coach Justin Sternes.
“There’s an eye to the future certainly, but his selection is well deserved and gives him the opportunity to bat at the Gabba as part of his development.
“For the team balance, it is also good to have a left-hander in our top order as well.”
The English-born Renshaw will become the 10th player to make his debut first-class appearance this season for Queensland, and the fifth to do so under the age of 21.
Paceman Ben Cutting has held onto his place in the 12-man squad after he was initially dropped, but recalled as a late replacement for Luke Feldman in last week’s game against Western Australia.
Meanwhile, Hopes will give up the captaincy after facing the Redbacks but whether he plays on next year remains to be seen.
The 36-year-old, who also stepped down as Brisbane Heat captain earlier this year, is contemplating retirement but will not make a firm decision until the end of the season.
South Australia are in sixth spot on the Shield ladder while Queensland remain fourth after missing out on a final day run chase against the Warriors.
The Redbacks are also keeping an eye on the future with Nick Benton poised to become SA’s second father-son debutant in as many games.
After Jake Lehmann’s successful debut against Victoria, Benton, a bowling all-rounder, looks set to follow in the footsteps of his father Jeff, who played four first-class matches for SA.
Queensland Bulls: James Hopes (capt), Cameron Boyce, Joe Burns, Ben Cutting, Peter Forrest, Peter George, Chris Hartley, Charlie Hemphrey, Chris Lynn, Matthew Renshaw, Mark Steketee, Jack Wildermuth.
SA Redbacks: Travis Head (capt), Nick Benton, Tom Cooper, Mark Cosgrove, Callum Ferguson, Trent Lawford, Jake Lehmann, Tim Ludeman, Joe Mennie, Kelvin Smith, Cameron Valente, Adam Zampa.