PRIZEMONEY attached to the most prestigious pre-season knockout in Country Rugby League has increased for 2014, with the winner of the 43rd West Wyalong knockout set to pocket $8500.
Up by a little over six per cent on last year’s prize-to-the-winner, the Mallee Men-hosted carnival will next year boast a total prize pool worth $13,000 paying down to those eliminated in the quarter-finals.
Set to be played over two days from Friday, February 28, a host of Group 10 clubs are expected to make the trip to West Wyalong in a bid to claim a share of the impressive purse.
The Blayney Bears made a first round exit in 2013, as did the Michael Sullivan-led Orange CYMS.
Cowra fared a little better, making the final eight stage of the knockout.
The Bears will return in 2014 under the guidance of new captain-coach Terawhiti Cooper while it’s not yet determined which other Group 10 clubs will make the trip, with Group Nine, 11 and 20 clubs also invited.
Orange Hawks last contested the rich knockout in 2011 under Todd Barrow.
Enjoying an ever-growing popularity matched only by the cash on offer, knockout co-ordinator Peter Campbell said numbers were limited.
“As the organisers are limited to play the knockout over just the one weekend, the number of entries is restricted to a manageable number which is 16,” Campbell said.
“Clubs are urged to nominate early to be in the running to take home the top prize of $8500.”
Formally entries will close on Wednesday, February 19, but the organisers expect the bulk of the 16 entries will be received soon after the new year.
The club is also planning a ladies’ league tag knockout to be run on Saturday, March 1, in conjunction with the football event and is seeking expressions of interest from CRL affiliated league tag teams.