It was one of the biggest sporting events in Dubbo last year and the Waratahs Rugby League Knockout is back in 2023.
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The massive festival of rugby league will take place on Saturday at Apex Oval, with memorial sides travelling from all over the state to get one last hit out before the long weekend.
Held just a week before the annual Koori Knockout, this weekend players from the western area will get a chance to keep match fit ahead of the three-day event on the Central Coast.
However, the Dubbo event has gone to a new level this year.
Due to the popularity of the event among young players, organiser Thomas Toomey said they have had to add a new age group.
"It's the first year of the under 18s, we are breaking into a new area," he said.
"We want to try and bring a new look for the knockout with hopefully more for the kids and families.
"We had under 17s last year but what we found was a lot of kids hadn't hit the point of breaking into first grade yet. They want to play but there is no age group for them, so we just want to accommodate for that."
Last year's knockout was won by the BRS Merritt Memorial side, a loaded team featuring a number of Dubbo-based stars.
The likes of Josh, Jai, Jayden and Blake Merritt teamed up with Dubbo CYMS guns Jeremy Thurston, Jordi Madden and Alex Bonham while Corey Cox and Farren Lamb were also in the side.
Likely to boast the same side again, the BRS Merritt Memorial side will be one of the teams to beat and some of the squad looks in strong form after Dubbo CYMS' title win.
This year, the opens sides will be playing for the Clive Toomey Cup, named after the late Indigenous man who passed away in 2021.
"There is going to be some great teams taking part this weekend, they are coming from all over," Toomey said.
"There are a lot of memorial sides for a lot of families around the Dubbo area as well which is awesome to see.
"The knockout has grown into a great event to cap off what we have had this month."
Regular Koori Knockout sides like the Bourke Warriors also look like a strong side as does the Far West Warriors.
The under 18s competition will feature at least seven sides, with the Wellington Wedgetails represented.
The draw will be confirmed on Friday night for both divisions and all of the action will begin on Saturday morning.
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