One of the most unique and meaningful rugby union tournaments in the country will be played out in Dubbo next year.
It was confirmed last week the KARI Foundation Ella 7s would be contested at Apex Oval in 2020, following a scouting trip from organisers and NSW Rugby officials last month.
Regarded as the largest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Rugby Union 7s tournament in the country and run by the Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team, the event is set to bring roughly 400 players to Apex Oval from March 5-7.
"It's in its 12th year now and we're expecting 24 men's teams and about 10 women's teams," the Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team's Rod Willey said.
"They'll come from the south coast, north coast, Bourke, Moree and everywhere in between."
The event will feature some high-profile names while also showcase some of the most exciting and promising talent in the state.
Former Australian rugby stars Andrew Walker, Arthur Little, and Brendan Williams all took part last year.
Walker, who famously represented his country in both league and union, was part of the Southern Kings men's side which won last year's title.
The tournament has also uncovered talent in the past with James Porch and Maurice Longbottom, two who have gone on to represent the Australian 7s side, having first caught the eye at the Ella 7s.
"It's been a pathway for some to get sevens contracts," Willey added.
"We've found a lot of youth takes part because it's a good stepping stone and that makes it a good standard.
"Last year the final was between the Southern Kings and Bourke and it was a very high standard."
Previous tournaments have been played out at Coffs Harbour but with grounds unavailable there this year the decision was made to move.
"We've always been at Coffs Harbour and maybe we got comfortable there," Willey said.
"Some people wanted to keep it on the coast but we bit the bullet and moved it to the heartland.
"I know Dubbo is a bit of a rugby league town but there's two rugby clubs and we want to tap into that and the work we've done there."
The Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team has conducted a number of school visits and been a part of gala days in the far west region and that has led them to create a new competition within next year's Ella 7s.
There will be two school gala days before the main competition, with primary schools able to take part in matches before high schools take centre stage on Friday.
The women's competition will start on the Friday night while the men's games and finals are on the Saturday.
Registrations for the KARI Foundation Ella 7s in Dubbo are now open, with the men's division already filling up fast.
People seeking more information can contact Willey on 0402 006 130 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.