Council and KARI Ella 7's inspect Apex Oval as negotiations continue

Hosting Rights: Rugby Union star Gary Ella, along with Councillor Greg Mohr and others during a visit to inspect the Apex Oval grounds on Thursday.
Hosting Rights: Rugby Union star Gary Ella, along with Councillor Greg Mohr and others during a visit to inspect the Apex Oval grounds on Thursday.

Dubbo could be the next staging ground for Rugby Union's developing talent if talks over the hosting rights for 2020's KARI Ella 7's tournament continue to take shape.

Representatives from Dubbo Regional Council, Lloyd McDermott's Rugby Development Team, Rugby NSW and other organisations were on hand at Apex Oval on Thursday to inspect the grounds and discuss how negotiations were progressing.

Councillor Greg Mohr welcomed the visitors from out of town, before saying that Dubbo was a perfect area to host the event.

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"The facilities we have here are A grade," Mohr said.

"Dubbo can do it, we have a great reputation when it comes to offering sporting events like this; we know how to do it and we know how to do it well."

Founder and Rugby Union star Gary Ella, who represented Australia six times, said that one of the main reasons to move the contest from it's most frequent home in Coffs Harbour was to expand the tournament's impact and outreach.

Hopefully in February next year we can see some Rugby played here.

Dubbo Regional Councillor Greg Mohr

"We know that the local teams here have a lot of indigenous players in the teams, our major sponsor KARI has done a lot of work out here and we're looking forward to the local towns getting a chance to support their teams," Ella said.

"Bourke last year made the final, we've had teams from Wellington and Dubbo previously and it'll be good to give them less distance to travel to play in an Ella 7s competition."

While the plans haven't been finalised, Ella said he was 'quietly confident' that an arrangement to host the next tournament in Dubbo would progress soon.

The event would likely be hosted across multiple days and feature junior, men's and women's categories in February 2020 if Dubbo is successful.