Ahead of the Peter McDonald Premiership season proper kicking off on April 15, we're taking a look at each of the clubs in the Group 11 conference.
From new players to those who've gone to another level in pre-season, we're giving you what you need to know about how each team is shaping up.
Today, it's the Forbes Magpies
The Forbes Magpies' forward pack.
Some may say the deciding factor in the 2022 Peter McDonald Premiership grand final was the fact Dubbo CYMS saved its worst performance of the year for last, but most would point to Forbes' strength up front.
The Magpies' pack has long been regarded as one of the very best in the bush and it was key to Group 11 title success in both 2016 and 2018, as well.
This year things will be a little different.
Club legend Jake Grace has retired, Ben Maguire and Brad McMillan have taken a step back, Jake Haddrill has returned home to the Condobolin Rams and rising star Campbell Rubie has made the move to Wollongong.
As big as those losses are - the experience Grace, Maguire and McMillan provided was invaluable - proven performers remain and a number of new additions are creating real excitement.
Western Rams representatives Tongia Fox and Charlie Lennon are still at the club, as are Traie Merritt and Marty Herbert.
To cover the losses, Forbes has again been able to turn to its famed junior pathway to pick the next batch of rising stars and a sprinkling of Fijian flair has also been added.
On top of that, just this week a new face arrived at training to provide another welcome boost.
Alex McMillan, the brother of now under 18s coach Brad, has been welcomed by those in black white.
McMillan spent last season as a consistent back-row performer at Orange CYMS but the Eugowra product also previously spent time in the Newcastle Knights system as a junior.
Teenage forwards Michael Coady and Dane Richards made their first grade debuts for the Magpies in the round one loss to Mudgee - a match which was brought forward to act as the curtain-raiser to the Manly-Newcastle NRL match at Glen Willow Stadium - and have already been tipped to earn plenty more minutes this season.
The pair have been described as "too good for juniors" and their presence alongside McMillan and new recruit and former NRL player Pio Seci give belief this Magpies side can match the efforts of the 2022 champions.
Seci, who played one match for the Manly Sea Eagles last year, will be a real weapon for new coaches Nick Greenhalgh and Mitch Andrews.
The pair have replaced highly-respected mentor Cameron Greenhalgh, who decided to step down after last season's grand final victory.
Given the departures - versatile outside back Alvin Maungaati has also left the club - a number of big decisions awaited the rookie pair.
Seci and the Fijian contingent of club regular Richard Fui and new recruits Epeli Ulianavucu and Nikola Sovatabua weren't in town in time for round one but will be onboard from next match.
Seci could feature in the centres or back-row while Ulianavucu and Sovatabua will add valuable depth to the forward pack.
The backline will also feature some changes and the round one decision to start newcomer Tom Caldwell at five-eighth over premiership winner Jordan Hartwig shows the regard he is held in.
Much will be expected of Caldwell, who is a versatile addition and could also feature at hooker or as a utility off the bench.
Greenhalgh and Andrews will be vital at halfback and fullback respectively while Toby Hurford remains at hooker.
Young guns Zeke Hartwig and Coopa Martin were the wingers last year but one or both could find themselves in the centres this season after earning more experience with the Western Rams during this year's Country Championships.
Andrews was again one of the Rams' best this year and, more so than any of his teammates, will have a major say on how the Magpies perform this year.
The only Western Rams player to earn NSW Country selection last year, Andrews capped a fantastic individual season by being awarded the Scott-Weir Medal for best on ground in the grand final.
"I still think he (Andrews) is the best player in the competition by a long mile, not because of just what he does with the ball but in defence too," Greenhalgh said.
Despite the loss to a powerful Mudgee side in round one, the Magpies were upbeat and given their record of playing their best footy when it matters it's easy to say not much should be read into that result.
"The foundations are there for something special again, that's for sure," Greenhalgh said after that loss.
"Everyone was working hard for each other and that's what we based last season off, just working hard for our mates and there was good signs of that.
"We'll welcome some guys back and some big names and fighting spots will be key for us.
"We're really excited about what this side can do."
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