THE thrill of a Caldwell Cup campaign is something that never gets old for Bathurst Bulldogs' Peter Fitzsimmons.
He's set to co-captain the Central West Blue Bulls for this long weekend's NSW Country Championships, sharing leadership duties with Mahe Fangupo, and goes into the campaign alongside five other Bulldogs teammates.
Having helped previously guide the Blue Bulls to country glory he's leading a team that has retained much of the core group that took down all before them in the 2021 edition.
As Central West chases three straight titles Fitzsimmons will do so alongside clubmates Justin Mobbs, Joe Nash, Adam Plummer, Matt Trapp and Kurt Weekes.
"We've been having so much fun at club level and we've been pretty successful, so we're hoping to take that into another team and play with the strongest players across our whole zone," he said.
"It's interesting playing for Central West because you never know what the other teams are going to bring.
"I've played for a few years now and sometimes a team that you think might be strong can turn up and not be as strong as you thought, while other teams that you thought didn't have the cattle to pick from play really well."
Fitzsimmons is named at hooker for the Blue Bulls, flanked in the scrum by props Charlie French (Forbes) and Josh Tremain (Orange City).
Ollie Harveson (Orange City) and Mobbs make up the second row with Dan Ryan (Parkes), Charlie Brown (Harden) and number 8 Will Archer (Dubbo Kangaroos) completing a formidable pack.
It's a group that Fitzsimmons believes is nothing short of top tier.
"For our team, I think the last three years we've picked sides that would rival any of Central West's best sides in history. I think this could be the strongest one yet," he said.
"We have a lot of new faces as well. It's great that with unavailabilities and injuries we can still put together such a good team.
"The regulars who have been there for a long time are still around but it's been really good to see that people who have performed well for teams we haven't seen previously have got the opportunity because of the work they've put in this year."
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