The Mid West League will have two new teams competing in the 2020 season, with former Woodbridge Cup club Cargo Blue Heelers and the new team Orange Raiders joining the competition.
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Portland Colts and Blackheath Blackcats have dropped out due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the two new teams joining defending premiers CSU Mungoes, Orange Barbarians, Orange United, Lithgow Bears, Oberon Tigers and Kandos Waratahs.
The eight-team tournament will be one of the region's only rugby league spectacles this winter, besides the Castlereagh League, after Group 10, Group 11 and the Woodbridge Cup all decided to pull the pin on their 2020 campaigns.
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The schedule will run over an eight-week, home-and-away regular season before holding a four-team, three-week finals series, set to kick-off on Saturday July 18 and wrap up before October.
Lithgow Bears coach Johnny Farr said that he was very excited to get the announcement that the competition would be going ahead on Saturday, July 18.
"Hell yeah I'm excited, the boys put in a big effort before COVID when they started training in January," he said.
"The boys have also done individual training from home so it would have been a waste otherwise."
The team has started training for the first game of season, where they will play a home match against Oberon.
Farr said he doesn't have massive expectations for his side, but he is sure that the Bears will be competitive.
"I believe that your effort equals your reward and the boys have put in a big effort," he said.
With only one round of the regular season before a final series, Farr said he was "happy with that".
"We had a big rebuild at the end of last season, so a shorter season would suit us better, to allow us to build on going into next year," he said.
Now that the smoke has cleared and the kick-off date as well as the clubs involved has been confirmed, Midwest Cup president Dallas Booth's ready to ramp up the region's excitement level about one of the last standing rugby league competitions.
"I'm very pumped... we've spoken to all the clubs and they're 100 percent excited," he said.
"It's one of the only competitions running around in this area and we want to bring more interest to it.
"We all can't wait to play footy."
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