A new and unique rugby league competition has been announced for the region after COVID-19 caused the normal winter season to be cancelled.
The Wests Entertainment Group 9's is a hybrid competition with a draft-like team selection process led by four captains Mitch Doring, Scott Blanch, Cody Tickle and Brenton Cochrane (featured in the image above).
The four talented rugby league players met at Scully Park over the weekend to find out the full story on how the WEG 9's will run.
Whilst most local league players have been starved of competition all year talented Werris Creek backrower Cody Tickle has been playing a few games for the Coonamble Bears in their Group 14 competition.
Cody was encouraged to join the Coonamble side because a former Werris Creeker teammate is currently playing out there.
Despite heading out to Coonamble to play with a friend Cody said the draft process will keep things interesting.
"I've been talking to a few boys and they're keen to play, " Cody said, "But as far as the draft system goes I don't think just picking your mates is what you have to go for, you've got to try and pick the best side."
“I played a bit of 9’s coming through school,” Cody said, “It’s a lot faster and more open but you can’t have too many small, fast players otherwise the other side will roll through the ruck.”
Cody said it's an honour to be named as a captain alongside the other three players and hopes to round out his 15 player side with complementary talents.
"I'm going to be looking for some fit fast forwards to start with."
"The other three captains are very good playmakers, so I think I need to find a good playmaker for my side too".
Each team will have an individual sponsor that will feature on the sleek looking jerseys made especially for the unique spring competition.
It costs players $80 to play which includes insurance, registration, and a full kit.
Registration for the WEG 9’s competition is open to all male players from all codes.
Teams will select squads of 15 players with a reserve bank of players to cater for injuries and unavailability throughout the October 9’s season.
The three rounds of play will be followed by a Saturday, October 24 Finals Night at Scully Park.
At this stage, there is no provision for a female 9’s competition with Group 4 officials waiting to see how the first WEG 9’s runs.
If it is a success as they hope then a women’s competition could be run with a possible Pre-Season 9’s in March next year.
WEG 9’s starts October 3 players must nominate to play by emailing the Group 4 secretary Catherine weeks on email@example.com.