Southcity could be missing plenty of forward power as they look to go one better in 2019.
The Bulls fell one win short of a hat-trick of Group Nine titles but their hopes won’t be helped with question marks over a couple of key forwards.
Premiership winner Jordan Shepherd shapes as their only loss over the off-season with the talented lock moving to the Gold Coast.
Captain-coach Kyle McCarthy admitted he would be a big out for the side.
“He’s a massive loss especially in that forward pack,” McCarthy said.
There are also doubts over the long term availability of Hayden Jeans due to a change of employment.
The front rower has led from the front for the Bulls in his two seasons with the club so far.
It includes winning their best and fairest two years running.
However McCarthy has backed the club’s depth.
He believes Shepherd departure is a chance for Luke McBeath to cement a permanent position in the Bulls starting side.
The young gun has played in a plethora of roles in the top grade, however McCarthy is confident lock is his place.
“We’ve got a ready made replacement in Luke McBeath,” he said.
“As much as it is a massive loss we’ve got a quality man to take over.
“He’s got the football brain of a 40-year-old but only has 20 years of experience.
“He plays well above his years and I think he'll be in for a massive season.”
McCarthy is excited to see what second rower Brody Tracey can produce as he continues to move through the junior ranks while the Bulls have been buoyed by Jordan Little deciding against linking with Canberra Raiders.
Little was fullback during their finals win over Brothers and will remain at the club in 2019.
Southcity only lost three games last season and won 10 straight heading into the grand final before going to down to Gundagai.
Meanwhile Young have added another forward to their pack with Blake Hewitt heading back to the club.
He was part of the Bathurst Panthers premiership last season.