The battle for spots in the forward half is heating up, but rather than be intimidated by the competition, Aaron Black is taking it in his stride.

Earmarked by coach Brad Scott against the Hawks, Black can’t wait to test himself in a new-look front six.

“We’ve been training together for a while, so it’ll be good to get out there with Waitey (Jarrad Waite) and Drewy (Drew Petrie), Browny (Ben Brown), Maj (Majak Daw), whoever else is down there and just to really work and try to get a bit of gel happening before the season starts,” Black told

“We’ve got two games left now, so I think it will come down to the best mix for the team and for us as a forward line to see what really works well.”

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Black said Waite’s form against the Crows came as no surprise.

“He’s a really good player and at training he’s been kicking a lot of goals and he’s a really strong mark, so I think it’s really going to help us in the forward line.”

Preparing for his first game since last year’s Preliminary Final loss, Black is confident shoulder surgery in the off-season will hold him in good stead.

“It’s really strong. I’ve been doing a lot of strength tests and it’s better than it was last year. I feel really confident in my shoulder – I just can’t wait to get out there,” he said.

The Roos take on Hawthorn on Sunday at Deakin Reserve in Shepparton, with the first bounce at 4.40pm EDST.