City-Country officials in Dubbo

OFFICIALS from the National Rugby League (NRL) and Country Rugby League (CRL) will be in Dubbo on Wednesday as discussions commence between stakeholders in next year's City-Country match to be played at Apex Oval.

The NRL officially announced Sunday, May 4, as the date for the fixture when it released its 2014 season draw last week, with the process of organising the event now starting.

Today's meeting will also involve staff from Dubbo City Council as well as officials from Group 11, with Group secretary Bob Walsh indicating a desire from all involved to get the ball rolling.

"It's been hard to really organise anything without the date being made official but now we can start, which is good," Walsh said.

"At this stage we will be playing Group 11 matches that weekend but none of them will be a curtain-raiser as we're expected to have our under-16s and under-18s Western Division trials for that."

Meanwhile, a proposed draw for next year's Group 11 competition has newcomers Westside pitted against Dubbo Macquarie in a local derby blockbuster to start the season while Dubbo CYMS look like getting their road trip to Cobar out of the way in round one.

The inclusion of the Rabbitohs into the competition has meant four tentative draws have been produced, however, the most recent - and most likely - version will see the competition begin on the weekend of April 26-27 with the grand final set down for Sunday, September 21.

"Because we'll have nine teams and each team will get a bye each round we've done away with the general bye on the long weekend and the one a few weeks out from finals," Walsh said.

"We will play on the weekend of Country-City and we will also play on the June long weekend.

"ABC Radio plans on broadcasting our grand finals so we have had to extend the season by a couple of weeks to accommodate that, meaning we will finish a little later than usual."

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