WINGHAM workhorse, front rower Blake Fraser will be 'rewarded' by starting Saturday's Group Three Rugby League game against Taree City on the bench at the Wingham Sporting Complex.
Coach Mick Sullivan said Fraser has been among Wingham's best this season and he was the club's player of the match in the win over Macleay Valley in miserable conditions at Kempsey last week.
"Blake had a big workload earlier in the season when Nick Beacham and Joel Kliendienst were unavailable,'' Sullivan explained.
So Fraser's on lighter duties this week against the Bulls, with Sullivan opting to start with the other members of the front row rotation, Beacham and Kliendienst.
Wingham will be chasing a third consecutive win this weekend after starting the campaign with successive losses.
Sullivan admits he is edging closer to getting his strongest side on the field.
Blake had a big workload earlier in the seasonWingham coach Mick Sullivan
Wingham will welcome back Kurt Lewis this weekend after he missed the clash against Macleay and he'll partner Tim Bridge in the centres. Michael Bailey is still struggling with a hamstring strain so Brodie Myer shifts to the wing from the centre, with youngster Lachlan Williams, who has scored three tries in his first four games in first grade, on the other flank.
Tim Watson is available and will partner Jake Mullen in the back row while Trent Green is also right and has been named on a five man bench.
"We have plenty of players but we'll need them because we're bound to get injuries,'' Sullivan said.
"This side we have this week is getting closer to our strongest, but we still have to work on our cohesion.''
Sullivan runs the squad on Friday nights but maps out a training plan for the Tuesday session, as he works out of the area. He admits this drew criticism in some quarters, especially when the Tigers lost the opening two matches.
"But the criticism seems to have died down since we've had a couple of wins,'' he added.
He said the Tigers will have plenty of respect for the young Bulls.
"They stopped Forster last week and came back after being down at halftime, so we'll be wary of them,'' he said.
The match will also be a family affair for the Bridges, with brothers Tim and Matt in the Wingham side lining up against their cousin, Todd, the captain-coach of the Bulls. Todd Bridge is expected to start the game at five-eighth.