The 100-plus community rugby league sides who have entered in the 2023 Koori Knock Out are this week rapidly changing up their game plans.

This follows the very strong rumours that one of the powerhouse Western NSW teams will be debuting a literal heavyweight at the Central Coast Regional Sporting complex over on the October long weekend.

Today it can be confirmed that UFC fighter Bam Bam Tuivasa will be lacing up the boots for the first time since departing from the Roosters system in 2011.

As a Wiradjuri man with family that extend from Mount Druitt to far west NSW, it is believed that Bam Bam will be in fact joining his close friends from the Rose family and hit the paddock with the Walgett Aboriginal Connection.

He is certainly not the first big name to take part in the competition, with Former Dally M medallist Ben Barba, Andrew Fifita, and Souths guns Latrell Mitchell and Cody Walker among league’s elite taking the field in last year’s carnival in Bombaderry on Yuin Country.

However, this year, the comp is set to be slightly more physical.

Right across NSW, teams are practicing their ankle taps and piggy backs as they prepare to bring down Tuivasa – just one month after his most recent heavyweight UFC bout in Sydney.

The 51st Koori Knock Out is set to once again pull together one of the largest sporting assemblies in the country, and a coming together of grassroots rugby league with some of the best in the game.

Walgett Aboriginal Connection made it all the way to the final last year, only to just come short to the Newcastle All Blacks in the men’s final, giving NAB hosting rights at Tuggerah this year.

The 2022 runner-ups have made sure they aren’t lacking in the forwards this time around, with Georgie Rose telling Bam Bam to run it straight up the guts.

Speaking to The Betoota Advocate today, Bam Bam says he expects this year’s Koori Knock Out to test his body far more than any Russian or American UFC fighter ever could. But he’s ready for anything.

“This my team, I’m here to run amuck” Tuivasa told The Betoota Advocate.

“Ain’t doing this for me. I’m doing this for all of us”

“Give me the ball and I run the ball up”


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