After guiding Eastern Suburbs to a thrilling, three-point win in the opening round of the Charter Hall Shute Shield, Orange twins James and Dan Donato have now started looking to the side's regional round in their hometown.
As they have for a number of years the Beasties will return to the colour city this year and will face Western Sydney on May 8, which lines up with the first Blowes Clothing Cup local derby of 2021, between Emus and Orange City.
That derby will also be this year's first rematch of the 2020 grand final, which Emus won comfortably after the Lions set up a fairytale decider by earning passage at the expense of a more-favoured Dubbo Kangaroos outfit.
That game in Orange is something we always look forward to, so both Dan and I have circled May 8 on the calendar already.Eastern Suburbs' James Donato
"That game in Orange is something we always look forward to, so both Dan and I have circled May 8 on the calendar already," James Donato, the younger of the twins, said.
"It's always just such a great weekend, I love coming back to Orange whenever I can but it's even more exciting to do it for rugby and it's such a big weekend for the Shute Shield and the clubs at home too, with City normally playing Emus.
"We show the boys around and we have a good time, everyone loves it. It's great for rugby, and that's not just our game but all the games that get taken to the country every year."
James Donato is hoping to hold onto his spot in the Beasties' top side after beginning the season in the Shute Shield for the first time last weekend, he played in the back-row while Dan slotted in at fullback as usual.
He'll have to do that for three more rounds before being named in Easts' side for the round five showdown with the Two Blues at Orange's Wade Park.
"I always consider it a really huge game personally so I'll be doing everything I can to hold onto my spot in the top side, to hopefully be able to play alongside Dan in front of a home crowd at Orange. I can't speak for Dan, but I'm sure he'd say the same," he said.
Eastern Suburbs defeated Southern Districts 17-14 on Saturday, while Western Sydney were hammered 59-19 by Eastwood.
Easts' clash with Western Sydney isn't the only game being taken to the bush this year, with Sydney University set to host Eastwood at Mudgee's Glen Willow Sporting Complex on April 24.
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