There's few coaches across any sport in Dubbo more experienced than Paul Hausia.
He's most well known in rugby circles but he's previously been heavily involved in netball while he also took on the task of coaching the ill-fated Dubbo Westside in Group 11 in 2018.
Basically, he's done it all.
So when Hausia comes out and says no start to a season has been as tricky as the current one with the Dubbo Kangaroos it's a fairly massive statement.
Hausia and the Roos' coaching staff have been tested early in the 2021 Blowes Clothing Cup campaign as a raft of injuries and player unavailability has forced the first grade lineup to vastly change from week-to-week.
Things are no different heading into Saturday's match at Forbes as Filisione Pauta and Shaun McHugh are unavailable while Will Michell is in doubt to a shoulder complaint and Sam Knaggs, Will Archer, and Tim Beach are among the long-term absentees after serious injuries in the first four rounds.
Only three players - prop Sam Hunt, back-rower Ronan Scott and centre Johnny Mafiti - have played the same position in each of the first four games of the year.
"It's probably the most interesting year of my coaching career with the amount of injuries that have happened in the first four rounds," Hausia said.
Despite that, the Roos have scored impressive wins over Bathurst Bulldogs and the Cowra Eagles.
The return of Hamish Gordon, Pauta, and McHugh was key in the win over Cowra last time out but Hausia said plenty of credit must also go to the lower grade players who are continually pushing for a chance in the top side and the rest of the coaching staff who are helping them get there.
"The players we have asked to step up, I couldn't ask any more of them and the depth of the club this year is really, really good," Hausia said.
"Everybody that has come up has stood up to the challenge."
The coach singled out "fiery" half Chris Selling, Toby Gillespie, and Andy Leatham as players who have impressed him during extended minutes of first grade action so far this season.
They're likely to be called on again on Saturday in a game which will pit good mates Hausia and Forbes coach Heamani Lavaka against each other.
The pair go back to when former Tongan international Lavaka was playing in Sydney and are still regularly in contact now.
"I'm really looking forward to seeing my old mate Hare. It will be the Islander combat, I reckon, as we try to get one over the other," Hausia laughed.
"It will be good catching up. He loves a beer or two and I'm no different.
"He was the most feared bloke when he was at his peak and even I would have hated to be hit by Hare way back then."
Forbes comes into the match after suffering a last-gasp loss to Bulldogs last weekend.
That result continued the trend of every match so far this season being won by the home side and the Platypi will look to keep that going in what will be a special day for the club on Saturday.
Tracey Prior, a former club president who's been at the heart of Forbes Rugby Union Club for many years, is currently having cancer treatment and the Platypi are rallying to show their support.
Money raised on Saturday will be going toward Prior's chosen charity, Forbes CanAssist.
Senior players will be sporting special fundraiser socks that will be available for purchase on the day while a raffle will offer plenty of prizes which have been donated by local business and individuals.
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