Fifty-one school teams have entered in this year’s South West Trent Barrett Shield.
The annual rugby league and league tag event for Year 3 and 4 school students will be staged at Jelbart Park on Friday, with schools from Albury, Wodonga, Tumbarumba and Holbrook taking part across a series of matches.
Pools will be split into competitive and non-competitive matches on the day, with spots up for grabs in next month’s Trent Barrett Shield finals at Wagga.
Event coordinator Dean Whymark said the tournament has grown from just 10 teams four years ago to more than 50 sides in 2017.
“There’s been a bit of growth in schools wanting to have a go at a different sport and we’re quite pleased with the numbers,” he said.
“There’s about 13 schools and about 500 kids having a go at trying rugby league and league tag.
“For those schools that want to progress (to the finals), there’s a good opportunity, but for the majority of the kids it’s about coming down and having a go at the sport.
“This is very positive for the game in the Border region and it’s quite exciting to see the game grow each year.
“We’ve had a bit of rain which will obviously make the grounds a little bit softer, but it should be fine come Friday.”
Boys and girls competitions will run, as well as a mixed league tag tournament, to allow a variety of playing options.
The modified competition will see each team field a total of seven players, with each match running for 20 minutes in two nine-minute halves with a two-minute half-time break.
Kick-off is from 9.50am, with the finals to be played from 1.30pm between the top sides from each pool.