Run merchant Sean Harris will bolster South Launceston's batting line-up ahead of Saturday's NTCA derby with Launceston.
The right-hander finished as the competition's fourth top run-scorer last season but is no certainty to slot in at the top following Brodie Jarrad and Sisitha Jayasinghe's impressive opening partnership last week.
South captain Tom Waller said he would take time to tinker with the batting line-up with consistent middle-order contributor Jeremy Jackson still to return.
"Brodie and Sisco started quite well last week and Harry did exceptionally well at the top last year, so we've probably got a bit of an early headache there," Waller said.
"But you probably need three or four games to work out your ideal batting order."
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The Knights struggled in the middle overs against Riverside and will face the challenge of two young leg-spinners in James Curran and Will Bennett this weekend.
"Our focus this week has been those middle overs. Obviously they've got some handy leggies but it's really just having the batters to have the confidence in the middle overs to take those leggies on," Waller said.
"They'll bowl some pretty good balls but there's plenty of opportunity there that they're probably going to bowl you a couple of bad ones, so it's taking advantage of when those opportunities come."
Launceston sits two points clear at the top of the ladder after a quartet of teenagers - Sam Elliston-Buckley, Ethan Conway, James Curran and Patrick Morehouse - starred in a thumping win over Mowbray.
Captain-coach Alistair Taylor said it had been pleasing to win without the likes of Zac Oldenhof, Cam Lynch and Ben Humphrey leading the way.
"It was good that the young blokes stood up," Taylor said.
"Hopefully we won't have to rely on those guys every week, hopefully the older guys can step up a bit more but it's really good for those guys.
"I think we had about three or four PBs in first-grade on the weekend which is a really good sign for us early doors and will give those guys some confidence for the whole year."
ELSEWHERE IN SPORT
WESTBURY will get its premiership defence underway without four of its most experienced heads.
Star quick Nick Spencer and gun all-rounder Richard Howe will both miss the Shamrocks' season opener against Riverside with Jono Chapman and Jake Williams on Raiders duties.
New captain Dan Murfet has backed young trio Kaleb Williams, James Baker and Joel Lloyd to fill the void.
"We're all really looking forward to getting stuck in and trying to get an early win on the board," Murfet said.
"In terms of the bowling ranks we've got a lot of options so that'll be no issues there, and with the bat we've got some pretty experienced guys at the top.
"But there's also all of those guys bowling who are capable of batting right down to 10 or 11 really."
Tom Garwood's Riverside could bring in any of Matthew Kerrison, James Simpson and Cooper Anthes, the latter two of whom have been away with the state under-17s.
"I've been talking to the guys and James has had a really good carnival over there," Garwood said.
"Cooper has had a decent carnival, he just hasn't put that big score on the board, but he'll bring back a bit of maturity into our side as well.
"Those players that have been at that carnival when they step back into our game hopefully they can take the game on a bit more."
Garwood said his side was "full of confidence" in the wake of the club's first victory against South since 2017.
"It's a good test for us straight up getting the win last week against a grand final side which is always good, and we'll hopefully back it up again this week with another good performance."
TEAM P W L Pts
- Launceston 1 1 0 6
- Riverside 1 1 0 4
- Westbury 0 0 0 0
- South L'ton 1 0 1 0
- Mowbray 1 0 1 0
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