NSW Touch general manager Dean Russell has given the tick of approval to Wagga's fourth Junior State Cup, believing the city is living up to the expectation that earned it the Southern Conference carnival.
Russell said their COVID-19 plans of having players 'arrive, play and leave' was executed well and had the added bonus of creating a relaxed environment off the field, with highly competitive touch on it.
"When we first brought the event here (four years ago) we were always confident because we know the area is a real sporting region and we knew what the facility was like - it sets up really well for an event like this," Russell said.
He said there were some scepticism from Sydney participants initially, who were used to travelling to Port Macquarie.
"But they all fell in love with it, and a lot of them don't want to move from here. Which is a real positive," Russell said.
Wagga has another year to run as host, having secured a two-year extension on its original three-year contract.
Tenders will be called later this year for 2024 and beyond. He noted Wagga's carnival "has gone from strength to strength to strength" which gives it a handy start.
Russell said it isn't just about money, but facilities, playing surfaces, weather and ease of travel are all important, along with accommodation availability.
Price gouging has been a sticking point in previous years but Russell said council is working to improve that.
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