Country Rugby League (CRL) Nyngan Tigers Rugby League Challenge

EASTER CHALLENGE: Paramatta Eels hooker Kaysa Pritchard recalls fondly his time at the then-Nyngan Easter Challenge. Photo: Peter Rae

EASTER CHALLENGE: Paramatta Eels hooker Kaysa Pritchard recalls fondly his time at the then-Nyngan Easter Challenge. Photo: Peter Rae

It’s on again! The Nyngan Easter Rugby League Challenge will be held in Nyngan, offering some of the best junior rugby league players across Australia.

Now known as the Country Rugby League (CRL) Nyngan Tigers Rugby League Challenge, the 12th instalment will be held in the school holiday period from April 20-22. 

Already six sides (two each from Parramatta and Penrith along with Group 11 and Far West Academy) have nominated but key organiser Col Wright is looking for two more sides for an eight-team event. 

Metropolitan teams must be under 15s, while bush outfits are allowed to field players turning 15 and 16. 

“For the city kids, it’s a chance to do things that are normal for country kids,” Wright said. 

“The Development Officers from Parramatta and Penrith always tell us what a great opportunity it is for the boys … they tell us the players that come out to Nyngan often don’t stop talking about it for a while.” 

One player who participated at Nyngan that has gone onto to bigger things is Eels hooker Kaysa Pritchard. He now has 39 NRL games to his belt but still recalls fondly his time at the then-Nyngan Easter Challenge. 

As Pritchard’s story highlights, the CRL Nyngan Tigers Rugby League Challenge also has many opportunities for advancement on the field. 

Over the years teams have travelled from the Western Suburbs, Cronulla, Penrith, Parramatta and Newcastle junior systems along with a South Australian Academy and Queensland Indigenous outfit. 

And for the bush boys, it’s nice to play strong teams in familiar surroundings is important. 

The reward for those who impress from Western Division is being named in a Young Achievers Squad that tours Papua New Guinea annually.  

“Group 11 especially respond quite well to the challenge and the Far West boys can definitely match the Sydney teams for shorter periods,” Wright, a long-time Far West Academy of Sport coach said. 

“For years we were travelling to Sydney for these tournaments, so it’s great for our boys to play here at Nyngan against city teams.” 

The CRL Nyngan Tigers Challenge will feature a number of social activities including a ‘welcome dinner’, pool games and BBQs. 

The cost of the weekend will be $1000 for one team or $1700 for two teams including meals, accommodation as well as the two-day competition and presentations.

Camping will be available to teams at the local showground pavilions. Each team is responsible for organising its own transport to and from Nyngan. 

For more information on how your team can become a part of the Challenge, contact Col Wright on 0428 419 426 or Dennis Moran from CRL 0429 220 047.