Former Turvey Park coach Truman Carroll will play his first game for Marrar on Saturday, against a club he came close to joining, North Wagga.
Carroll is one of three important inclusions to play the table-topping Saints, along with Bombers' two-time premiership captain Josh Hagar for the first time this year, and forward Tyler Cunningham returning from injury for a big game at McPherson Oval.
"It's well documented the battles between these two sides and they're not the best of friends by the sound of it," Carroll said.
"I've got a lot of good mates at North Wagga, my brother-in-law (Ryan Pollack) is there. They're looking forward to the battle on the field and they're firing as well so it should be the match of the round you'd think."
Carroll's move to the Farrer League was deliberately low-key. After battling osteitis pubis last year and requiring a hernia operation, he elected not to pursue a second year as coach at Turvey Park. Once he was comfortable to commit to playing, it was almost at North Wagga.
"I had meetings with them and I was thinking about playing there, for sure. It would've been easy with family there and mates," Carroll said.
"But my uncle 'Horse' (John) Carroll is president at Marrar and he's been trying to get a cousin out to Marrar for years, and I know 'Sparks' (coach Shane Lenon) well."
Carroll said he's 'keen to have a run' after a long break and his readiness coincides with the return of former captain Josh Hagar who was unavailable through the first half of the year.
They could prove key ingredients in a young Bombers outfit which has already shown plenty of potential under the leadership of new captain Jackson Moye.
"It's a youthful side that are up and about, playing out of their skin, so there's definitely a good feeling," he said.
"They run and attack and move the ball well, really quick, and maybe catch some of the more experienced, bigger-bodied sides off guard with that sort of high-risk footy."
But Lenon welcomes the injection of experience.
"Those young blokes are going to thrive playing alongside blokes like Truman and Hages," he said.
"Obviously they're going to take a couple of games to find their feet and get match practice but just their leadership in such a young side (will be valuable). They're both tough, hard competitors who lead by example."
The Bombers still have John Hoey (knee) and Cal Gardner (hamstring) sidelined but welcome Cunningham's return. While North Wagga will have coach Kirk Hamblin and midfielder-forward Corey Watt back in.
Marrar's last three games of last season were all high stakes affairs against the Saints - in round 18 for the minor premiership, in the second semi-final for first spot in the grand final, and then for a flag - and they won all three.
Two new-look sides met back in round two, where North Wagga finished off strongly against a promising Marrar side. The Saints now sit top, having dropped only one game, with Marrar four points behind with East Wagga-Kooringal and Temora.
"We were competitive for two-and-a-half quarters (last time) but obviously they've improved. In saying that, I think we'll be better equipped this time around than we were in round one as well," Lenon said.
"It's tight for fifth position and it's probably going to be tight for a top three position as well which is exciting.
"Top three has got to be the aim so if we drop this week we're probably going to be a game and percentage off that spot, so it's probably going to make it a little bit hard in that regard... I still think we've got a bit of room for upside but in saying that, you want to be winning games if you want finish top three."