NINE different clubs, 25 different players but one goal - they are numbers that Central West coach Dean Oxley believes can add up to a Country Championships triumph.
This weekend when Oxley's Blue Bulls run out on to Tamworth's Scully Park it will be with the intent of winning a third consecutive Caldwell Cup.
Though there were late withdrawals and late additions, Oxley knows every one of the players who will pull on a Blue Bulls jumper deserve to do so.
"We've got nine clubs represented and that's something I'm really happy about as it gives us a cross section," Oxley said. "We are definitely the strongest zone in the country, I could list another 16 players who are unavailable, actually there's 22. I'm very confident with the group of players I have here."
So why is Oxley so confident his men can make Central West history come Sunday afternoon?
EVER heard the saying it's as easy as ABC? That's something that Oxley buys into when it comes to his squad.
"I've got this little analogy in my head, the ABC, the A is the small tip of the iceberg in ability, the B is the belief and then the C is the commitment to the team," he said.
"The reason why the Blue Bulls have won the last couple of years is the commitment to the team, that's an important component. We had a wonderful training session on Sunday, everyone got around each other, there's certainly belief in what the boys have been doing and there is ability.
"So I don't think there's any reason why we won't bring home the cup at all the be honest. There's some caps that are missing and some ability that is missing, but it's all about getting around each other, which has been fantastic."
ANYONE that has seen an Oxley side in action knows he aims to have them play attacking and entertaining rugby. It's about players backing their skillsets and having faith the men standing beside them will do the same.
His starting forward pack for the championship has size and strength, but they are also mobile and have attacking flair.
Vastly experience Blue Bulls Charlie French and Josh Tremain are the props and Bathurst Bulldogs skipper Peter Fitzsimmons gets the job at hooker.
Ollie Harveson and Justin Mobbs will line up in the second row, Dan Ryan and Charlie Brown as the flankers and Dubbo Roos star Will Archer at number 8.
Then there's the mercurial Mahe Fangupo at scrumhalf.
"We play a very fast, attacking style of footy, over that last couple of years it's been based on getting away to early leads and then consolidating that," Oxley said.
"We've got a very mobile pack there and I'm very excited about watching Ollie Harveson going around at this level. He's been very strong for Emus, he's new to the zone. It's great having Dan Ryan back, he's got a wealth of experience and is just an exceptional person."
The joint captains also come from the forward pack - Forbes' finest Fangupo and Bathurst battering-ram Fitzsimmons.
JUST as the Blue Bulls' pack is full of strike power, the back line features more players who know how to find the try line and hit hard in defence.
After earning NSW Country selection last year but not actually getting a chance to pull on a Cockatoos jumper due to COVID-19, Oxley expects big things from fullback Joe Nash and and centre Adam Plummer.
"We've got Joey Nash, who was player of the tournament at the last Country Championships, but he didn't get to play country due to COVID so he's got some unfinished business," Oxley said. "He's reaching form, as is Adam Plummer, they've really played well for Bathurst in the last two weeks."
That pair play club rugby for the Bathurst Bulldogs while the rest of the starting backs are from the Dubbo Kangaroos, so there'll be familiar combinations. Tim Beach and Ratu Roko are on the wings, Filisone Pauta at outside centre and Josh Bass will start at flyhalf.
"Ratu has been in exceptional form, he's another player who's new to the zone," Oxley said.
TO be successful at the Country Championships you need more than just a strong starting XV - the whole squad needs to be able to do a job. Oxley feels he has just that.
One player Oxley can't wait to see in action in Dubbo Roos' speedster Calub Cooke.
"Calub Cooke, he was a bit of bolter. He came into the squad quite late but he's in scintillating form, he played excellent against Bathurst on the weekend," Oxley said. "He's only 20 years of age, but he's one of the quickest rugby players in the Central West that I have seen for some years. He's lightning quick, so he's physical and fast.
Bathurst Bulldogs scrumhalf Kurt Weekes was another late addition but has been in excellent form and provides a goal kicking option.
"Kurt Weekes is in there, that only happened late Tuesday night. He's been playing well and he plays a fast style of footy too, he's been playing quite well for Bathurst," Oxley said.
"Noah Ryan comes in from last year and he was leading the point-scorer last year in the Blowes, so he's been a really great acquisition.
"Another one I'm really excited to see go around and has been in excellent form is Damien Michael from Cowra, their a number 8. He's very athletic, he's scored a number of strong tries throughout the club season, he's incredibly quick and strong."
WHILE Oxley knows creating history at Scully Park on Sunday afternoon will require an almighty effort.
"It's never been done in the history of the Country Championships for Central West, three in a row. It's certainly something that's been spoke about amongst the players in regards to leaving that legacy and having that additional pride in the zone," the coach said.
CENTRAL WEST BLUE BULLS: 1 Charlie French (Forbes), 2 Peter Fitzsimmons (Bathurst), 3 Josh Tremain (Orange City), 4 Ollie Harveson (Orange Emus), 5 Justin Mobbs (Bathurst), 6 Dan Ryan (Parkes), 7 Charlie Brown (Harden), 8 Will Archer (Dubbo Roos), 9 Mahe Fangupo (Forbes), 10 Josh Bass (Dubbo Roos), 11 Ratu Peceli Roko (Dubbo Roos), 12 Adam Plummer (Bathurst), 13 Filisone Pauta (Dubbo Roos), 14 Tim Beach (Dubbo Roos), 15 Joe Nash (Bathurst), 16 Matt Trapp (Bathurst), 17 Tom Dunstan (Mudgee), 18 Daniel Minto (Mudgee), 19 Damien Michael (Cowra) 20 Fletcher Wright (Orange Emus) 21 Alexander McNiven (Orange Emus) 22 Miniti Tonga (Forbes) 23 Calub Cooke (Dubbo Roos) 24 Noah Ryan (Cowra) 25 Kurt Weekes (Bathurst).
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