The Goondiwindi rugby league Border Knockout is back this weekend for the fourth year, and it just keeps getting bigger and better.
The gates open at 8am with the first games kicking off at 9.30am.
There will be 22 games of footy on two fields with $17,000 worth of prize money up for grabs.
There are 16 sides of 25 players plus coaches, managers and support staff with up to 1200 supporters expected throughout the day.
All teams will get two games with the winners moving towards the finals.
NSW sides have taken out the shield for the last three years.
President, Tony Carter, said this event brings some great footy, outstanding young talent and has attracted ex NRL stars.
“Our poster ambassadors are all local products: Ethan Lowe who is currently with the North QLD Cowboys, Lindon Peckham a current QL Intrust Cup player with Tweed Heads Seagulls and Mark Offerdahl who returns to coach the Boars from England where he played for Sheffield Eagles and held the position of captain of the USA international side,” Carter said.
It’s a great chance to blow the dust off and put our training into practice before the season starts. We don’t have the full team playing but we will have the boys out there getting game time which is important; building their confidence and getting them excited to start the season.Boars' Coach Mark Offerdahl
“The Boars, for the first time, will enter our side with Mark Offerdahl being loyal to those boys that have been training in the pre-season since November,” he said.
“It’s a great chance to blow the dust off and put our training into practice before the season starts,” Offerdahl said.
“We don’t have the full team playing but we will have the boys out there getting game time which is important; building their confidence and getting them excited to start the season,” he said.
“Hopefully there will be plenty of tries and the win on Saturday.
“There will be a solid display of footy. The boys want this, they are hungry and I am confident they will put in every effort,” he added.
Offerdahl will be using these games to have a look at the boys for spots in the top grade for the upcoming Toowoomba Rugby League season.
They have been doing the hard yards through pre-season.
Some of the local talent in this year’s Boars’ side to go and have a look at on the weekend are: Carl Clements, Adam Tribe, Levi Wilson, Will Davis, Will Carroll, Kyle Munro, Tom Andersen, Ben Lovell, Joel Currie, Andy Hoggart and the ever-young Michael Offerdahl.
“Tyrell Swan is a young player with huge potential.
He will definitely be one to watch out for,” Offerdahl said.
The Boars also have some new recruits: Michael Hazard, a young talented half from Mackay; Khaled Tamer, a front rower who was chosen in the Mediterranean squad in Sydney; Nathan Taquali, a Fijian front rower from Sydney; Sandy Rae, a centre that played in the highly rated NSW Group 9 competition and who comes from England; and Reece Richmond, a talented fullback from New Zealand who played in the Auckland competition.
These men will be playing in other sides in the knock-out, but the Boars welcome back this year David McGrady, Aaron “Bigfoot” Robinson and Mal Peckham.
“It is also great to have the talent of William Beale and the speed of Jason Saunders from Moree joining the team,” Carter said.
“Adding Will Carter and Cal Skinner away in a 10s tournament to this group, the Boars are looking forward to this season,” he said.
The Reggies have plenty of numbers and talent and will push A-Graders for spots.
The under 18s list is down on previous years due to the loss of some talented boys that are playing for Redcliffe, Easts, Ipswich and a couple going to uni.
“But feel confident we will field a strong, young side,” Carter added.
Offerdahl said the club had been training with great enthusiasm.
“All the boys involved have been working hard and are focused on having a successful comp,” he said.
“They’ve been working on everything from fitness to mobility and everyone working together as a team.”
There will also be a pre-season trial for the Boars on Saturday, March 2 - a night game against Pittsworth.
Entry to Gilbert Oval on Saturday is $10 with a full bar and canteen available. An ATM will also be available on the day. The elimination final is expected to be held about 6.40 with the Border Knock-out around 7.30.
Carter thanked the major sponsors for the day, the Queensland Hotel along with Andersen Truck and Tractor together with VCV, Wacol .
“We are very proud to have such great support from all our sponsors and we thank them for their assistance,” he said.
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