Seventeen-year-old Jayden Blake is likely to get the first crack at fullback for the Dubbo Kangaroos in this weekend's Blowes Clothing Cup season opener.
Blake impressed with and without the ball during the weekend's trial win at Tamworth and made a real impression on coach Beau Robinson.
Blake was crowned the NSW Country Rugby Union junior player of the year in 2019 after another stellar campaign featuring a swag of representative selections.
Playing in the seniors against the defending premiers, Bathurst Bulldogs, at Apex Oval on Saturday is a different proposition but Robinson said he won't hesitate to throw the youngster in.
"We're not worried about his age," the former Super Rugby winner said.
"If you're up for it, you're up for it. He's a mature player and physically he's maturing and he's confident enough.
"He didn't shy away from any work and backed himself a few times in attack but what was most pleasing was his communication. He was telling forwards older and more experienced where to go and that's a big thing we're looking for."
Blake was one of a number of players to impress in the Roos' first grade victory over the Tamworth Magpies on Saturday.
Johnny Mafiti has made the switch from the forwards to the backline for season 2020 and was also a standout while Filisione Pauta and Moa Kavaefiafi, back with the club after a stint in Geurie, also showed they will be valuable additions this year.
Jake Styles has also returned to Dubbo and the Robinson got his first good look at his combination with Hamish Gordon in the halves on Saturday.
Colts, second grade, and first grade all played at Tamworth and the top side finished as relatively comfortable victors.
It proved a perfect build-up for the club ahead of the opening round clash against Bulldogs, with Robinson highlighting the structure and communication as real points of pride after such a disrupted pre-season.
"I was amazed how well it clicked," Robinson said.
"There was a couple guys who were quite vocal and that makes all the difference if you've got those guys giving direction."
Going on a way on a trip was also important for the club after such minimal time together in training.
There numbers at Tamworth were also pleasing with the COVID-forced delay of play and shortened season doing little to hamper enthusiasm.
The numbers at the Roos have been so strong they will be able to field a third grade team on Saturday.
The third grade competition for 2020 was scrapped after the competition was put on hold but numbers remain healthy at both the Roos and Dogs.
Robinson said the third grade outfit will again be a mix of last season's colts and older heads at the clubs.
"There's a lot of excitement around the club," Robinson said Saturday's first matches.
"I've been speaking to some of the Old Boys and they're keen and really looking forward to getting up there."