MARRAR coach Shane Lenon has declared star forward James Lawton as a 'certainty' to line up against East Wagga-Kooringal on Saturday.
The top two teams in the Farrer League will face off at Langtry Oval on Saturday and Lawton's availability is a massive boost for the Bombers' chances of claiming the minor premiership.
Lawton came from the field carrying his shoulder during the final quarter of last week's win over Temora at Nixon Park.
But the athletic forward, who has booted 79 goals for the season, escaped any serious damage.
"He'll be a certainty," Lenon declared this week.
"We got a pretty good report. Walks (Mick Walker), our trainer, was pretty happy with everything after the game and he did a full training session (Tuesday) night so he'll be definitely on board.
"He's obviously a very important player and he's having a big year so you would definitely rather have him than not."
With Marrar only having three games to go before finals, some may have considered resting Lawton to ensure his fitness for September.
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Lenon could not see any reason not to play Lawton.
"No. If a bloke's injured and can't perform, you don't pick him but the way he trained (Tuesday) night, everything's positive, so definitely not," he said.
"It's a week at a time but if they're fit and in your best side then you put them in."
Fellow forward Dayne Hancock is likely to return to face the Hawks, while Zach Walgers (foot) and Sam Emery (hip) remain at least another week away.
"(Walgers) will be getting close and we'll make a final call on him at training but I reckon he'll be another week," Lenon said.
"Same (with Emery). Another week."
Lenon cannot wait for another big game at Langtry Oval, just a fortnight after coming out the other side of a strong test against North Wagga.
"It's one versus two, it's another big game and a game we're excited to be involved in," he said.
"It's a week at a time and we're working on trying to improve week by week and there was a few things that came out of last week's game that we need to work on that we've talked about and addressed at training. Our focus will be to try and improve in those areas to get better come Saturday."
Marrar defeated EWK by 31 points on a horrible day at Gumly Oval earlier in the year. The Hawks have since strung together seven straight wins to hit the Bombers with plenty of momentum.
Lenon said his team will take some confidence from the earlier meeting but concedes the Hawks appear a different prospect this time around.
"Obviously they had a few players missing and it looks like they're getting back to full-strength and that sort of thing. Obviously they'll be better equipped this week," Lenon said.
"It was a windy day that day, they're talking another wet weekend this weekend so it will won't be ideal conditions or anything like that but yeah obviously you take a little bit of confidence out of that game but this is a completely different game and they will be a completely different side so it will be good to see how we stack up against them."
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