ST PAT'S will welcome back most of their core players for a new season of league tag, starting with a Western Challenge title defence this Sunday at Canowindra.
Saints not only went through the previous Group 10 league tag season as undefeated premiers but have also taken out the previous three editions of the pre-season Western Challenge event.
That paints a huge target on their backs for this weekend's action but their returning coach Mick Armstrong has put together another strong outfit for the season ahead.
"We've lost a few of the girls we had last year unfortunately but the core still there. Mish Somers is back to captain the side, Meredith Jones, Erin Naden and Bronte Emanuel are there too so it's a handy side," he said.
"We've started our training late … but that's what we've done over the past few years. It's hard to get training happening with a lot of girls involved in other things like the tackle footy and touch footy.
"That's worked for us and we haven't changed it up this year."
St Pat's have avoided fellow Group 10 competitors Blayney Bears, Orange Hawks, Lithgow Workies and Orange Cyms in the pool stages.
The Saints will face Orange Barbarians, Molong Bulls and Grenfell Goannas in a bid for a top two finish in the pool.
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Armstrong said it will be an interesting experience to take on unknown quantities.
"It's great to play different teams," he said.
"It's a chance to test your skills against the other groups in the area. All teams in the area are improving so I'm sure they will test us out on the day.
"This is a great way to start the year by getting in a few games of league tag and getting them into the rhythm again.
"It's a great event that's well organised, with plenty of referees, and something that we'll continue to support. We're really looking forward to it."
Last year's Western Challenge decider proved to be a preview for the Group 10 League Tag grand final, with the Saints facing the Hawks.
Pat's won the Western Challenge final 10-0 and backed that up later in the year with a 16-6 Group 10 grand final result.