Six weeks after having less than a dozen players at training and seriously considering not entering a tier one team in this year's Newcastle Rugby League competition, Cessnock coach Todd Edwards now has selection headaches.
In particular, the Goannas backline is shaping up strongly following the recent additions of Ngangarra Barker, Josh Griffiths and Brayden Musgrove.
All three were already linked with Cessnock for 2020 prior to the COVID-19 delay but only featured for the first time in a 22-18 win over Wests on August 1.
"Around six weeks ago it didn't look like we were even going to get a side," Edwards said.
"We only had eight blokes at training and we considered not putting a side in or dropping down to tier two. Now we've got 40-plus and some quality around the joint."
The Goannas, coming off the bye, meet Lakes at Cahill Oval on Sunday.
Barker is likely to play fullback and Randell five-eighth.
Foran, Musgrove and Griffiths were halfback, centre and off the bench respectively last start.
Reid can slide to the wing while Kirkwood had also played elsewhere in the backline during 2019 before returning to the halves on Cessnock's run to the decider.
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