North Launceston's Bart McCulloch out for Bombers clash with Blues

TWEAK: Bart McCulloch's hamstring injury has forced just one change to his side.
TWEAK: Bart McCulloch's hamstring injury has forced just one change to his side.

Big man Bart McCulloch’s gaping presence out in the middle is expected to pose little problems on Saturday for North Launceston coach Taylor Whitford to cover.

The 27-year-old has been ruled out for the clash against Launceston at Windsor Park.

“Bart won’t play this weekend – we’re just list managing him through this injury,” Whitford confirmed.

“He strained his hamstring on the weekend. He’ll be an out and one will come in.”

Callum Harrison will now replace McCulloch, named on the Bombers bench.

Whitford insists an array of options can cover all bases in the absence of the versatile ruck-come-forward. 

But the playing coach will be asking ruckman Alex Lee to play to another level.

RESTED: Bart McCulloch during this year's preseason at UTAS Stadium.

RESTED: Bart McCulloch during this year's preseason at UTAS Stadium.

“Bart has been more our second ruck, so it does gives Alex a chop out,” Whitford said. “But I guess his workload this week is going to pick up a little bit in the ruck.

“Going forward, we have thrown a lot of people in our forward line. I don’t think Bart’s role forward will affect us too much.

“But that second ruck is something we’ll have a look at players for five or six minute periods of quarters.”

McCulloch has been quite instrumental to the balance of the side since the former Brisbane Lion joined North Launceston from the defunct Western Storm in 2016.

But Whitford said impact stars like Brad Cox-Goodyer and Josh Ponting can add a new dimension up forward. 

“We’re respectful of what Launceston has got, so we’re not going to risk anything we don’t need to,” he said.

“We need someone who is fit enough and able to apply the pressure to the contest.”