Orange Emus will kick-off its bid to win back the Blowes Clothing Cup with a road trip to Forbes while Orange City will have to wait a week to begin its 2020 campaign.
Central West Rugby Union chief executive officer Matt Tink released the draws for the re-vamped, shortened Blowes Clothing Cup competition, with defending champions Bathurst to take on the Roos in Dubbo in the only other game of the opening round of the five-team top flight premiership race.
The Lions' first game is at Pride Park on July 25 against the Roos, while the first derby of 2020 will be on August 1 at Endeavour Oval.
The New Holland Cup, and the two Oilsplus Cup competitions' draws were also released on Friday.
All competitions will kick-off on July 18 while the same is expected of the colts and women's competitions, with those fixtures expected to be finalised next week.
Twenty-five of the region's 28 clubs will take part and that, to Tink, is proof the health of rugby in the Central West.
"It's incredibly satisfying and rewarding because rugby might not always get the best media attention at the top level but at the community level that spirit and camaraderie is alive and well," he said.
"We're going to be playing into late August and September and it's spring-time rugby. The weather will be great, it will be that bit lighter later and it will be a great family event."
The Blowes Clothing Cup and New Holland Agriculture Cup grand finals will be played on September 26 while the Oilsplus Cup and Oilsplus South West Cup will both have their decider days on September 12.
There's been countless meetings with clubs in recent months and plans have had to be modified or scrapped altogether as restrictions have changed.
Tink has been most proud of the flexibility and willingness of clubs to get on the park.
The shortened nature of the season created numerous challenges and it is on show most in the Blowes Clothing Cup.
The five clubs will contest just the nine rounds, meaning Orange Emus miss out on a bye while Forbes and Bathurst Bulldogs won't play host to the Dubbo Kangaroos and Orange City respectively.
Many clubs made a lot of sacrifices ... it won't be perfect but this is better than no rugby at all.CWRU chief Matt Tink
Cowra announced earlier in the week it would not be taking part in the Blowes Clothing Cup this season.
Tink said Emus deserved a huge amount of credit for willingly take on one less bye and that was just one example of clubs working with the CWRU board to ensure play goes ahead.
"Many clubs made a lot of sacrifices," Tink said.
"It won't be perfect but this is better than no rugby at all.
"The grand finals will be tremendous days and it will be one of the more memorable competitions to win given what it's taken.
"All competitions are wide open."
The Blowes Clothing Cup's five sides will play for a top four spot before semi-finals on the weekend of September 19.
It will be a different set-up in the New Holland Cup as the five sides there - CSU Bathurst, Narromine Gorillas, Dubbo Rhinos, Parkes Boars, and Mudgee Wombats - play each other home and away before the top two sides on the ladder automatically go through to the grand final.
Both Dubbo clubs kick-off the season against defending premiers.
The Roos will play host to Blowes champions Bulldogs while Rhinos travel to Bathurst to take on CSU.
With No. 1 Oval being out of action this season due to the upgrades there, the Roos and Rhinos will both play out of Apex Oval.
They have opposing home-and-away schedules to ensure only one club is there each weekend.
Trangie and Yeoval are the two clubs to withdraw from the Oilsplus Cup this season.
But both of those competitions remain in a healthy state, particularly the South West division.
That competition will feature all eight clubs, those being Boorowa, Condobolin, Cootamundra, Grenfell, Harden, Temora, West Wyalong, and Young.
Each side plays each other once before the top four moves through to the semi-finals on September 5.
The northern section's remaining seven clubs - Blayney, Canowindra, Coonabarabran, Coonamble, Geurie, Molong, and Wellington - will play the same schedule.
The 18s and women's draws will be confirmed once all available clubs commit.
Tink confirmed the majority are locked in but same remain on the hunt for more players before the season begins.
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