IT'S a step into the unknown but Dragons coach Paul McGregor feels shifting the Origin series to the end of the season could benefit his side after admittedly not handling the rep period well in the past.
The Dragons famously started the 2018 season 12-3 to led the competition heading into the Origin period, only to fall out of the top four with two rounds to play.
They were also in the top four through 14 rounds in 2017 before a trend of late-season fadeouts took hold.
The full draw released on Thursday will see all teams play 18 straight weeks without byes or rep rounds, something that could play in their favour according to the coach.
"I'm not sure if it will [suit us] because we've never had to do it before but certainly, in previous years, there's been a lot of distraction around the Origin period and we haven't done well through it, or after it," McGregor said.
"We've had a number of years where we've been positioned in around that top four year after year and Origin comes in and we lose four to six players at a time.
"It's the same for every team, Melbourne's dealt with it very well over the past years, we haven't. That's not here this year so, for me, that can only be a positive.
"Although [18 weeks] is an unknown, it's certainly a big positive for us that we won't lose a number of players at an important time of the year."
The revamped draw will see the Dragons take on last year's grand finalists' the Roosters and Raiders twice, but McGregor said he could certainly find some positives in it.
"You can look at the draw every which way and I reckon, over the year, it balances itself out," McGregor said.
"It's something that [the media] take a fair bit of notice of and people outside the gate really focus on but, for us as players and coaches, it is what it is, you can't change it.
"We play the grand finalists twice, we've got the three plane trips, two to Brisbane and one to North Queensland. Other than that we've got minimal travel.
"Looking no further than the first few weeks, the prep's pretty close to home. We've got the Central Coast and then we're at Campbelltown. We've only got two five-day turns and we've already had one so it's pretty good."
One thing McGregor was less interested in discussing were controversial rule changes, including the return to one referee.
The referees' union's resistance to the move has dominated discussion just a week out from the season resuming, but McGregor said there's no point debating it ahead of his side's return against the Warriors next Saturday.
"It's a big change but I think it's just time to move forward," McGregor said.
"The rules are in so let's got on with it. Every team has the exact same circumstances so there's no one favoured here.
"The rules have been implement for a reason so for me as coach it's just time to move forward, get on with it and do the best we can.
"We're working through a lot of scenarios as everyone else will be doing at this stage. Every club's the same, we'll all be working around it best we can not having a referee at training.
"We got a lot more clarity this week around the changes which was great going into the final week of preparation."