AS a two-time defending champion of both the Caldwell and Thomson Cups there's no denying Central West's status as a powerhouse of New South Wales Country rugby, but now there's another trophy on the hit list.
Come 2022, the Blue Blues will be aiming for glory in the colts division of the annual Country Championships as well as attempting to pull off a three-peat with its senior men's and women's teams.
Central West Rugby Union chief executive officer Matt Tink admitted it was embarrassing not to be represented in that division this year and is adamant there will be no more absences. The last time a colts side was fielded was in 2019.
As such coaches for the colts side - which will be an under 19s outfit - have been appointed already. Experienced Bathurst Bulldogs mentor Shane Cantrill and Orange Emus' Stu Brisbane will share the role.
"Briso has a really good gauge on the club scene in that demographic and Shane has got a good idea around the Stannies element as well. Plus both are good blokes, good coaches and pretty determined to win," Tink said.
"So we think the pieces are in place.
"We're very determined to get a side, we were probably a bit embarrassed and disappointed we didn't have one last year. We put it out there, but there wasn't the interest."
The timing of the Country Championships on the June long weekend is a factor Tink knows they will have to combat to form a squad.
They also opted not to have potential colts train last Sunday when the senior men and women did, acknowledging many candidates would still have school graduations and celebrations as a priority.
However, Tink makes no secret of the fact he is serious about forming the best colts squad in NSW Country.
"Look as far as we're concerned, the Country Championships is aspirational rugby, we are going to win, it's not participation rugby. We want really talented, committed kids in that group," he said. "All three squads will train together in February and we'll push really hard. We've details of the kids in that age group, we'll contact them directly and the blokes who want to play and show up - away we go."
Aside from the lure of pulling on a Blue Bulls jumper, Tink pointed out attending the Country Championships is a big step on the path to Australian selection.
That is another reason why he is calling on the best under 19s talents to trial.
"One of the big things, and Country probably haven't done this as well as they could and they've identified that I'm not being critical, is promoting that pathway," he said.
"If you go from the Central West under 19s to New South Wales Country 20s, you then play Queensland Country. They pick a rep side from that which then competes at the Australian under 19s tournament which they then pick next year's Australian under 20s from.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: