The Koori Knockout carnival has been the hottest topic of the NRL offseason, with debate raging on as to whether the stars of the game should be allowed to participate.


For years NRL stars have played in this tournament at the end of that year’s season due to its cultural significance to the Indigenous community.



Over the last two years, the tournament has been broadcasted across free-to-air and pay TV, putting a spotlight on the tough and physical nature of the games.


NRL stars including Tyrell Sloan and Latrell Mitchell have all come under heavy criticism for their participation, with the latter turning down an Australian jersey due to injury before playing in the tournament days later.


Rabbitohs CEO Blake Solly brushed off those concerns and put his full support behind his players wishing to participate in the tournament.


“We’re probably a little bit different to most clubs in that we 100 per cent support and want our players to play in the knockout,” Solly told SEN 1170 Afternoons.


“There’s no concept of the players coming to us for permission, they’re encouraged if it doesn’t clash with representative fixtures, or in the case of this year our reserve grade interstate championship.


“We want them to play in the knockout, we love the event, we think it’s hugely important not just for rugby league but for the indigenous community.”


Solly called for the wider NRL community to embrace the event and admitted he is happy with the safety protocols that are in place throughout the tournament.


“I was up there this year for a day of it, I’ve seen it firsthand, it’s a knockout that the game should be celebrating and encouraging, helping to continue to grow and thrive rather than stop,” Solly added.


“We were satisfied with the protocols, we’ve been satisfied for a number of years, it’s great that the NRL provides us with the insurance which provides us with a bit more peace of mind.


“I’m sure the competition organiser will look at this year’s tournament and like any competition organiser improve it for next year, that’s been the way in which that knockout has grown over the years.”


Solly’s comments come after Addo-Carr admitted he was knocked out during the tournament and went on to play the next day.

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