THE wait to reignite the classic Bathurst Bulldogs and CSU rivalry is sadly on hold for at least another year.
Due to a drop in numbers the Bulldogs have withdrawn from this year's planned New Holland Agriculture Cup campaign, which would have seen the blue and gold's third grade side play in their region's second tier competition.
As Central West Rugby Union teams wait for Friday's fixture announcement the New Holland competition draw will now feature just five clubs, and it comes just a matter of days after Cowra Eagles announced they would not be taking part in the Blowes Clothing Cup for 2020.
The withdrawal leaves the New Holland Agriculture Cup with CSU, Dubbo Rhinos, Narromine Gorillas, Parkes Boars and Mudgee Wombats.
"Things were looking great for us at training before COVID-19 but, as we've seen in other sports, people have chosen for various reasons not to play, and that leaves us with two teams in Blowes Clothing Cup," he said.
"It's disappointing to let down the other teams in New Holland, and I have apologised to them. We're very sorry but we just don't have the numbers to participate in it."
Bulldogs were third grade champions in the 2019 BCC while CSU stunned the Gorillas in their New Holland grand final.
It set the stage for an exciting return of the Bathurst derby in 2020.
"Rekindling a cross town rivalry is always exciting," Reid said.
"Last year in the grand final in third grade we had a team of 35 players so people were keen to play but the COVID situation put a dampener on that for a lot of them.
"For now we're just looking forward to the start of the season, making sure we're COVID-safe. It won't be a normal season by any stretch.
"It'll be a new-look team. We've had some people retire from first grade after last year so we're hoping to showcase the depth of talent at Bulldogs."
Central West Rugby Union will announce draws for all competitions on Friday.