TAREE City's rather limited depth could be severely tested in Saturday's Group Three Rugby League clash against Wingham at the Wingham Sporting Complex.
Coach Todd Bridge will check the fitness of centre Shannon Mullay (knee), lock Thomas Paulson (knee) and utility forward Harry Wallis (hip flexor) before determining the side to tackle the Tigers. He is also waiting to hear if fullback Jake Lauder has recovered from a bout of pneumonia that has forced him out of the last two matches.
The Bulls don't have an under 18.5s this year while their reserve grade has only won the one game, so Bridge's options are limited.
"It's not ideal,'' Bridge admitted.
Bridge was hoping the majority of his wounded brigade would be right and said he'll be shuffling players should they all be forced out.
Bridge also looks set to play his second game of the year after sitting out the past three.
"I haven't decided yet if I'll start at five-eighth of play off the bench, although Wingham can be a pretty daunting place for young blokes, so a bit of experience might be a good thing there,'' he said.
Should Bridge be the five-eighth Toby De Stefano will push out to the centres, with Dean Mills staying at seven.
Taree goes into the match after a strong 32-16 win over Forster-Tuncurry last weekend. While a win or a strong display against the suddenly in-form Tigers would stamp Taree's semi-final credentials. Bridge added that there's still a fair chunk of the season to be played.
He's just happy for his young side to keep improving at this stage, saying he was pleased with the defensive effort in the first half against the Hawks while overall the Bulls' completions were better.
They could have also found a goal kicker in centre Logan Wallis, who managed four conversions from as many attempts against Forster.
"He doesn't give the ball much of a thump, but as long as he keeps caressing them over I'm happy,'' Bridge said.
Interchange forward Rob Mason had his best game for the club against the Hawks, but will again start from the bench, where Bridge believes he can have the best impact.
Centre Kurt Lewis, second rower Tim Watson and utility back Trent Green have all been named in the squad.