A marquee women's match pitting the stars of the Dubbo region against some of the game's very best could be the curtain-raiser for next year's NRL match at Apex Oval.
The South Sydney Rabbitohs are taking their round 11 fixture against the Penrith Panthers to Dubbo on May 23 and it could potentially be a massive day of action.
Discussions are only early at this point but there is a chance the Rabbitohs' NSW Premiership team could also make the trip west.
"If we can get the draws to align and there's no COVID restrictions, there's been early talks about the Rabbitohs women's side coming and playing an invitational Dubbo representative women's side," Souths' chief commercial officer Shannon Donato said while in Dubbo on Friday.
"It's certainly not locked in but it's certainly a strong possibility as a curtain-raiser."
The Rabbitohs are committed to making the match an event, with a number of community activities leading up to the game already planned.
The club will play another NRL premiership match at Dubbo in 2022 and Donato stated if both matches are a success there is every chance the club will extend its deal with the city.
Donato expects next season's match to be a success as well, with the red and green army set to be out in force for the clash with this year's grand finalists.
"We'll bring 5000 members," Donato said.
He added the club has previously had 3000 members at other regional venues and that had led to a $2 million boost for the local economy.
Providing Dubbo with an economic boost is just another aspect the club is excited about.
"All aspects and facets of the community can benefit from this game," Donato said. "That's what we're here for, to build a genuine partnership because part of our mandate is to make sure sport, particular rugby league, is strong in the bush and the same goes for the Rabbitohs brand."
Souths is offering a Central West membership for those who want to attend the Dubbo match and the Charity Shield fixture against St George Illawarra at Mudgee on February 27.