Big names of the rugby league knockout

Manly centre Brian Kelly could play in the Lismore knockout carnival this weekend.
Manly centre Brian Kelly could play in the Lismore knockout carnival this weekend. DAVID ROWLAND

EXPECT an NRL player or two at the annual Lismore Aboriginal Knockout rugby league carnival at Crozier Field, Lismore this weekend.

Ballina junior and Manly centre Brian Kelly played for Cabbage Tree Island last year while South Sydney five-eighth Cody Walker has played for Tabulam in the past.

"I think there is a good chance that both of them could play,” event organiser Grantley Creighton said.

"Those two names spring to mind straight away considering the NRL season has finished for Manly and South Sydney.

"We've also had Preston Campbell, Albert Kelly and Edrick Lee play in the past.

"It all adds to the event and you don't always know until you turn up Saturday on who will be there.

"People will always travel for knockout footy and all the early feedback suggests it's going to be a big weekend.”

A record 20 teams have entered this year with Tweed Connexions back to defend the title.

Games will be played over two days and there will $10,000 up for grabs with $2000 for the runner-up.

A host of local teams will compete with an influx of teams from the Mid North Coast expected to bring plenty of supporters.

Teams include Bowraville, Casino, Cubawee Connections, Dunghutti, Kempsey, Lismore, Muli Muli and Tabulam.

"We were only supposed to have 16 teams with the one field but I didn't want to turn anyone away,” Creighton said.

"Once we get back to a couple of fields we can keep adding teams and I'd like to get it to 32 eventually.

"The Sunday will be just as busy this year because we've added some women's games too.

"A lot of people are looking at our carnival as an option instead of the big New South Wales one in a few weeks.”

The draw will be released at the Lismore Workers Club tonight while Southern Cross University has come on as a major sponsor.

Games start 8.30am tomorrow with a $10 entry fee with a 9am start and $5 fee on Sunday.