Orange Hawks entered this season's Group 10 title race with one of the most staunch forward packs in the competition, and it just got a hell of a lot more imposing.
Willie Heta will welcome back barnstorming prop Saul Houma as the former Newtown gun will play his first game in the top tier after spending a season in Group 9 with Wagga Roos.
Hawks will welcome the unbeaten Mudgee Dragons to Wade Park on Sunday after the Red V took out CYMS in a 30-26 blockbuster.
While the Dragons have talent across the park, green and golds' big man Joe Duffy was most impressed with their forward pack, meaning Houma's return is even more timely.
Two blues' back rower Rakai Tuheke is excited to see the big man back in action, and knows what kind of an impact he can make.
"Everyone knows that he can do something every time he gets the ball," Tuheke said.
"It takes about five people to tackle him. It'll be good to have the big fella out there."
While Houma's presence will put fans in seats, he's only a small piece of the puzzle for Hawks this weekend.
Heta's men have lost their last two matches by a combined score of 90-18, so it's going to take more than a returning prop to fix the problem.
"All the boys have been listening and learning and looking to adapt to what's been going on," Tuheke said.
"It's just the basics, really. We need to make our tackles. Everyone's been going well at training and ripping in... the boys are up for it."
You could make the case that Hawks' have more room for improvement than other Group 10 contenders, simply due to the age of some of their playmakers.
Five-eighth Toby Westcott and fullback Ryan Manning are both extremely raw, but Tuheke likes the way they've been progressing lately.
"They've both been doing well and improving every week," he said.
"For them, it's about getting used to how we play."
As for Tuheke's individual goals on Sunday, they don't stray too far from the norm.
"Run hard, tackle hard... it's the basics that usually win games of footy," he said.
As for Mudgee's star power, its boasts the former NRL trio of Clay Priest, Harry Siejka and Jack Littlejohn, so it's no surprise to see the Red V flawless after the opening portion of the competition.
Wade Park is the destination for the contest, with the game to commence at 3pm.
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