As per, with the rumour mill abuzz there's massive question marks hanging over all six of the Blowes Clothing Cup clubs leading into Central West Rugby Union's top-tier season, which is now little more than a week from kicking off.
Will Bathurst Bulldogs finally deliver on the big stage after years of falling short? Will Dubbo Kangaroos' knobbly knees hold up? Will new coach Viv Paasi's appointment inspire Orange City after a woeful 2018? How will Forbes' player-coach experiment pan out? Has anyone actually heard anything from Cowra at all?
But the biggest question, a relatively simple one, revolves around reigning champions Orange Emus and is born from suggestions the Nigel Staniforth-led greens may actually boast a more powerful side than the one that claimed last year's premiership, their third in the last five years.
Can anyone stop them?
Naturally, time will tell, but each club's pre-season campaigns have produced enough positive signs to suggest they can and that's the message that came from Central West Rugby Union's season launch at Bathurst's Anne Ashwood Park on Sunday morning.
Staniforth knows his Emus have once again gone from hunters to the hunted too, having reclaimed the throne with last year's comfortable, 30-18 grand final win over Bulldogs after losing the 2017 decider to Forbes.
"It just starts all again for us now, we're looking forward to it," Staniforth said.
"We're lucky we have foundations in place from the last few years so we'll keep working on it (and) the guys are really keen. They love their rugby and I think that's probably the biggest thing, we don't have to con guys into getting to training.
"Some results were ugly (in 2018) but we had a plan, we stuck to it, everyone bought into that and that got us there ... the guys' will to work hard, win and get it done (was a massive factor)."
Staniforth made no secret of the fact his club has picked up some serious players too, which will go a long way to covering the losses of five-eighth Kyran Bubb and flankers Jack Marchinton and Jayden Norris, the latter being last year's grand final MVP.
Former Bulldogs centre Tom Joseph, also a former Australian Schoolboy and Intrust Super Shute Shield star, has linked with the greens for a start, but the most intriguing addition is probably Jamil Khalfan, who comes from the 2018 Oilsplus Cup Southern Division champions in Harden.
A five-eighth or fullback, Khalfan has impressed during the pre-season but remains firmly locked in a two-way battle for the No.10 jersey with Matt Campbell, who played second grade last year but filled in with aplomb when needed.
"[Khalfan] is a different style of 10 (to Bubb) and we've got Cambo as well ... those guys will fight it out over the next two weeks but (either way) they'll bring a different style, and we'll tweak things a bit as well anyway," Staniforth said.
"Every year we have four or five players leaves but we've been pretty blessed to pick up four or five genuine first graders from outside the group (this year) too. Also, in second grade last year there was a few guys that you could've flipped a coin with, about them playing firsts or seconds.
"That competition for positions is massive."
That's a factor Roos skipper Shaun McHugh is hoping will "breed success" at No.1 Oval too, with the Dubbo club looking to return to the finals after enduring a horror 2018.
Not so much in terms of results, but in terms of injuries.
In fact McHugh and his troops produced some more-than-admirable performances throughout the season considering they lost four regulars to season-ending, ACL injuries in the first month of the season and two more after that.
Those sidelined included marquee recruit and former Randwick skipper Mark Baldwin, former NSW Country halfback Paul Elliot and former Central West gun Brad Pugh - big losses by anyone's standards.
There's already signs they can bounce back too, with "40 or 50 guys" showing up to pre-season training consistently.
"It's been solid ... training's been great. We're moving in the right direction I think to start a run of success. So far, so good anyway, we can't complain much," McHugh said.
"It was just missed opportunities last year. We were beaten in four or five games by, sort of, three or five points and we did have a young team last year so a lot of that comes down to experience in certain roles and situations, so if we can build on that (we'll be in good stead).
""We've had a few inclusions of guys coming to town this year, we're lucky being a big town we do draw people in. We've had a big turnover, probably 10 guys from first grade ... but the new additions puts pressure on the guys that are there and hopefully competition for spots breeds success."
Bulldogs have also enjoyed a bumper pre-season so far, with the disappointment of last year's decider loss driving the young Bathurst group. So says skipper Peter Fitzsimmons, anyway.
"To fall short was disappointing. We've spoken about last year where there were only two or three games where we went completely away from our structure and one of those was the grand final," Fitzsimmons lamented, his side moving to a kicking-heavy tactic in that decider rather than the more-exciting, running-based game that got them there.
"That was a learning experience for our younger guys and they'll take a lot away from that for this season. Across the park we've built on last year and become stronger in a lot of areas. We've had a big preparation as a squad."
Cowra stalwart Tim Berry said his side has learned from 2018 too, in which the Eagles finished third, and largely their focus will be on changing attitudes and continuing to form a winning culture, based on belief.
They're in good stead to do so too having kept the majority of the group that was beaten by Bulldogs in the preliminary final last year together.
Belief will be a big factor for Orange City too, with Paasi at the helm the Lions are looking to find their best again after winning just one game and picking up the wooden spoon last year.
But the Lions' new coach says there's no pressure on his side considering those results, other than what his troops put on themselves.
"The playing group and club as a whole, we should feel no pressure on us at the moment. We've come off a pretty tough season and the only expectations are the ones we put on ourselves to continue to improve," Paasi said.
"The pressure will only ever come from within, nothing from the outside but at the moment there's none there which is great.
"One thing that really stood out ... when we started pre-season the boys' attitude and commitment was second to none, and you can't coach that, you either have it or you don't.
we've had really good numbers at training and everyone's bought into the systems, the structures, what we're trying to achieve,"
"What that looks like come game time I don't know, but there's a pretty good vibe at the club at the moment and everyone's working hard for each other, which is great."
Central West Rugby Union's season launch was held during a bumper afternoon at Ashwood Park, which culminated in the NSW Waratahs' massive BuildCorp Super W victory over the Melbourne Rebels, a 66-12 win punctuated by Shanice Parker's four-try haul.
The Blowes Clothing Cup season kicks off on Saturday, April 6. Emus travel to Forbes, Bulldogs go to Dubbo and Orange City hosts Cowra.
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