A HUGE week of events is planned in and around Tamworth that will keep the Newcastle Knights and Cronulla Sharks very busy ahead of their NRL trial match on Saturday night.
The Knights arrive in Tamworth late today before splitting up tomorrow.
While a number of players and coach Wayne Bennett are flying to Coonabarabran with the Westpac Rescue Helicopter tomorrow morning, some other players will visit kids at a small schools gala day at Tamworth Minor League Park.
The first Knights’ training session at Scully Park is on Thursday from 9am while players will also visit a number of Tamworth schools in the afternoon.
The first of the Sharks players to land in the region arrive Thursday.
Todd Carney and a few teammates head to Barraba for a school visit in the morning and then travel to Manilla in the afternoon for another school stop and a coaching clinic with local juniors.
That trip is part of the NRL One Community Carnival and players will be speaking to local kids about tackling bullying.
The rest of the Cronulla squad arrives on Friday.
Newcastle will hold its final training run at Scully Park at 9am on Friday.
Following that session the players will stick around to run a coaching clinic with local high school kids.
The main evening function is also on that night when Bennett appears at TRECC.
Game day Saturday is a huge one, with some Knights players appearing at a Tamworth Minor League sign-on day from 10am to noon.
Meanwhile the Wests Greater Northern Academy hosts three other academies from around northern and western NSW at Farrer High School with games starting at 9.30am and running through to about 4pm.
The Holden Cup (U20s) trial kicks off proceedings at Scully Park that evening at 4.45pm and then the main game will follow at 7.30pm.
Tamworth & District Minor League is also holding a “Mega Registration Day” at Minor League Oval with a few Knights and Sharks players in attendance, TDMRL publicity officer Steve Lassock said.
“The registration day starts at 10am and the NRL stars will be at the ground from 10am until noon,” Lassock said.
“This is going to be a very exciting day and we will get a taste of what 2013 will bring.”
He said all clubs would be represented, with registration staff on hand to sign players up.
He believes it “will be a cracking season”.
The Kootingal Junior Rugby League Club would also be running “Come and Try Days” at Kootingal Oval starting this Saturday, spokesman Paul Hyson said.
“We’re running Come & Try days between 9am and 10am from this Saturday for the next few weeks,” Hyson said.
“It’s for kids just beginning footy and those who might want to start playing.
“It will include skills as well as fun and games. All are welcome to participate.
“The junior and senior clubs will have some coaches and players helping out.”
Group 4 will also be holding a skills development day at Gunnedah’s Kitchener Park on Sunday from 9am for any under 14s and 15s players.