Local Indigenous rugby league talent on display at NSW Knockout

Gunnedah and Narrabri’s most exciting rugby talent faced off against the State’s top local clubs over the October long weekend at the 49th annual NSW Aboriginal Rugby League Knockout.

More than 30,000 people attended the competition at the Central Coast Regional Sporting Complex, including National Rugby League Indigenous stars Josh Addo-Carr, Cody Walker, Andrew Fifita and Greg Inglis, who were on hand to provide advice to the next generation of Indigenous talent.

Local clubs the Gomeroi Roos (Gunnedah) and Nandewar Wedgetails (Narrabri) – both sponsored by Whitehaven Coal – competed in the four-day competition, which has become one of the most significant events on the Indigenous sporting calendar.

Roos coach and founder Michael Long said he was delighted to continue the club’s participation in an event that celebrates Indigenous peoples across the State.

“I’m so proud of the boys despite not getting up on the day,” said Mr Long. “This year’s team is growing in experience, and with 14 players between 17 and 19, the future looks bright.”

The 2019 knockout marked the fifth-year anniversary of Whitehaven’s sponsorship of the Gomeroi Roos.

Mr Long added: “Whitehaven’s support of the Gomeroi Roos and other Indigenous organisations, like the Winanga-Li Aboriginal Child and Family Centre, has made a tremendous difference.

“We’ve come a long way in five years, and I’d like to thank the company for its ongoing support.”

The South Coast Black Cockatoos, which featured a number of current and former NRL players, won the men’s tournament over the Griffith Three Ways United.

The knockout began in 1971 at Camdenville Oval in St Peters, Sydney with 8 participating teams.

It has since become one of Australia’s largest Indigenous sporting events, with over 140 teams competing this year.

Pictured: The Gomeroi Roos and the eventual Knockout winners, the South Coast Black Cockatoos