Mitch Russo wasn't sure he would come back to Dubbo for some time but now he has returned just in time to help Newtown in the RSL Whitney Cup semi-finals.
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Newtown will face Rugby this weekend on the first day of their two-day clash in what is the final round of the season before finals.
The sides will meet at No.2 Oval, a ground Russo wasn't sure he would play at again after moving to Newcastle late last year.
"Obviously I moved away not expecting to come back but here I am," he said.
"I'm excited to be back and I feel like I'm home, hopefully, I can come out to put in a good performance to show that I'm worthy of a spot in first grade."
Having captained the Tigers over the last season and a half, Russo will add depth to the Newtown batting line up which features Dan French as well as Steve and Mat Skinner.
Newtown has all but qualified for the RSL Whitney Cup finals, needing only a loss and an outright Macquarie win to knock them out of third spot.
With Rugby out of finals contention, Russo believes their opposition will be doing all they can to make things tough for the Tigers.
"Rugby is a good side and going to dish up a lot to try ruin our finals chances," he said.
"Hopefully we can go out there and play some cricket shots, defend strong and just play the way we want to play."
Jacob Hill and Ben Wheeler are two names that spring to mind for Russo when thinking of Rugby, two big wickets he believes could go a long way to deciding the outcome of the match.
"Every time we've played them we know if we get them out early then we can run through them with our bowling attack," he said.
"Steve and Mat Skinner have been doing the job each week for us plus Raj Parmar.
"He has come in and been so consistent, hopefully, he can bring that this week and be a big figure for us in the finals."
Meanwhile, Macquarie can keep their finals hopes alive but it will have to be with an outright win over current ladder leaders RSL Colts.
The two sides will face each other at No.1 Oval in a match which could show the depth of both clubs.
RSL will be missing Brad Cox, Jason Ryan and Mitch Bower likely for both weeks while Macquarie also have players out across the match.
A win for RSL would secure them the minor premiership and advance them straight into the grand final.
CYMS are the only side other than RSL who can still finish in top spot and will take on Souths at No.3 Oval over the next two weeks.
CYMS skipper Ben Knaggs will miss week one as will keeper Jake Settree but Matt Purse and Harry Bayliss will return to the Cougars lineup.
Play begins at 1pm.
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