Wagga RSL's quest to go one better in this year's Twenty20 tournament has been boosted by the inclusion of Ethan Bartlett and Josh Staines.
Bartlett and Staines will both return home to make a number of appearances for their junior club in the two-week competition that starts on Thursday night.
Bartlett, a powerful all-rounder, and Staines, a talented wicketkeeper batsman, will both line-up for Wagga RSL in the tournament opener against Saint Michaels at Robertson Oval.
Bartlett and Staines are two of Cricket Wagga's finest products over the past two decades so Wagga RSL captain-coach Sam Perry is thrilled to have them back at the club for the Twenty20 competition.
"It benefits our team and benefits the whole comp and creates a bit more atmosphere and something to watch I think," Perry said.
"Those two are two of the better cricketers to come out of Wagga in the last 10 to 15 years so it's great to have them on our side but as a whole for Wagga cricket I think it's really good as well.
"A lot of the boys at the club haven't seen Barts play, Josh trains with us, but none of them have really seen Ethan play but if he bats for five to 10 overs it's going to be pretty good viewing.
"He'll be good for our playing group."
Bartlett will open the batting for Wagga RSL and was once an opening bowler, too, so will play a role with the ball. Staines will take the gloves and bat at number three.
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The Bulldogs made the final of last year's inaugural competition, going down by 10 wickets to Wagga City.
Perry said the addition of Bartlett and Staines, while they won't play every game, gives his team renewed confidence.
"Getting two pretty handy pick ups, even though they can't play every game, it should boost the confidence of the whole playing group," he said.
"I know there are a couple of games where we've got a few out, so it will test our depth a little bit, but anything short of making the final will be a little bit of a failure, even though there's still a few good teams.
"We're looking forward to it and (Thursday night) we'll get a fair indication of how we're shaping up."
Play will get underway from 6.30pm on Thursday night.
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