It's taken more than 60 draft versions but the Peter McDonald Premiership draw is finally set for the 2022 season.
Since a new, western-wide premiership race was announced last March it's been an exhaustive process to get to this point, with a huge amount of consultation and feedback from clubs in Group 11 and Group 10.
What many thought were the final fixtures had been released prior to Christmas, but now excitement can really begin to build for the region's new era of rugby league.
Plenty of minor adjustments have been made in recent weeks but the finalised schedule has all 13 clubs playing seven home games and seven away games during the 16-week regular season.
The one glaring omission from the draw is a clash between Dubbo CYMS and Orange CYMS and while a match between the two powerhouse clubs would be a real attraction, NSW Rugby League (NSWRL) Regional Manager for Western, Evan Jones, said it was simply impossible to achieve everything in the one schedule.
"It's a really, really difficult thing to undertake," he said.
"There's ground availability at certain times of the year and grounds that need time after cricket like [Orange's] Wade Park.
"There's NRL games out here and grounds in Dubbo share with rugby union, so there's a lot of factors.
"There was a lot of things we wanted to achieve and it was insurmountable but there's still plenty to look forward to."
In some of the more recent changes made to the schedule, Nyngan's round two match against Orange Hawks will now be played in Orange, while the annual Bathurst ANZAC Day derby between St Pat's and Panthers will be hosted by the former.
The clash between Macquarie and Orange CYMS in Dubbo has also moved from week 11 to week 13 so it doesn't clash with the Dubbo CYMS-Forbes meeting that was also down to be played at Apex Oval.
Each of the Bathurst clubs will play each of the Dubbo clubs in what will be some of the highlights of the competition, while all Group 11 clubs will have a bye the weekend of May 21 and 22 when the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Canberra Raiders play at Apex Oval.
"Everyone is pretty relieved, the clubs as well as us, to have a clear direction and to know where you'll be each week," Jones added.
"It's been a long and tricky process and I think we're up to version 63 or 64 of the draw so it is a relief.
"We'll learn from this year and continue to improve. We're happy with what we've got but we don't think there's no room for improvement. You'd be arrogant to think that way but as long as we learn from this year and keep building."
The season will begin the weekend of April 9 and 10 with all Group 11 clubs playing crossover matches.
The Wellington Cowboys host Bathurst Panthers in another blockbuster while Orange CYMS will make the trip to Nyngan, Parkes hosts Bathurst St Pat's, and Cowra and Lithgow meet in the round's one all Group 10 match.
The Macquarie Raiders will be on the road for a bumper clash with the Mudgee Dragons while Dubbo CYMS will be away at Orange Hawks.
Forbes will have the bye in the opening week.
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