The 2017 Blowes Clothing Cup fixtures have been released on Wednesday by the Central West Rugby Union, and the season begins with tight clashes for many sides.
For Mudgee, their campaign begins in Parkes, where the Wombats will take on the Boars. The match will be significant for players and fans for the simple reason that their 2016 season ended with a defeat at the hands of the Boars.
Mudgee’s first home game welcomes the Bathurst Bulldogs on April 8, off the back of the travelling side’s Round 1 derby against CSU, with a win at home sure to set the Wombats in good stead for a strong season.
The Wombats then come up against premiers Orange Emus at home in Round 4, May 6, and that match will not be one to miss at Jubilee Oval.
Club President Greg Bartrim welcomes the big clashes early in the season, and thinks it will prove the squad is up to scratch.
“It’ll be a good litmus test for the team to have a few of those tough games early on,” Bartrim said.
“There are no easy games in the competition, so the order of the games don’t really matter, and there’s home and away for both so you get to them all eventually.”
Bartrim admits the Wombats are chomping at the bit when it comes to season kick-off.
“We’re looking good so far in preseason in our training and our trials, so I think that we are looking forward to getting the season underway.”
“We have good numbers and a good bunch of lads lining up for the team this year, so we want to get started.”
CWRU chief executive officer Peter Veenstra said the 10-team - Narromine isn’t in the 2017 men’s top flight – 18-round draw was infinitely easier to work than last year’s 11-team version.
The finals begin on August 26 while there’s a general bye on April 29 for the country championships. The long weekend bye is on June 10.