North Melbourne remains undecided on its best ruck set-up ahead of round one as Todd Goldstein and Braydon Preuss prepare to press their selection claims against Richmond on Wednesday night.
North played Goldstein and Preuss in the same team at times last season, but primarily opted to go with Goldstein as its sole ruckman.
The Kangaroos again opted to ruck Goldstein on his own in their opening JLT Community Series game against Melbourne, but have recalled Preuss to play alongside the 2015 All Australian in their final pre-season game against Richmond at Ikon Park.
North coach Brad Scott told reporters the Roos' ruck set-up remained up in the air ahead of their season opener against Gold Coast on March 24.
"(In) round one whichever way we decide to go may not be the way we go round two, so we're just going to have to be flexible and open to all options and challenge 'Goldy' and 'Preussy' to push each other and get better," Scott said on Tuesday.
"It's a bit like the forward set-up. If you've got two really, really, good key forwards you tend to play them both, but if one's ahead of the other maybe your structure takes precedence.
"I can't give a definitive answer on that at the moment, but we'll certainly have a good look at both of them potentially together on the weekend, and a fair chunk where they're in isolation too."
North omitted Majak Daw from its round two JLT team after the 26-year-old played his first game as a key defender against Melbourne in Hobart two weeks ago.
Scott said Daw, who rotated between attack and the ruck in his first eight seasons at Arden St, remained "in the mix" to play in round one as a backman, but still had "a lot of work" to do on his one-on-one defending.
"We were really encouraged by some of the things he did in the first JLT game, and in fact some of the things that he's learning he's picked up really quickly in terms of modern defence," the Roos coach said.
"What he needs to learn is just some of the fundamentals of one-on-one defending and in a way they're the easiest things to coach.
"We're still really optimistic that he can play a role in our back half, but this week is not the week to do it."
Scott said North planned to largely play just 22 of its 26-man squad against the Tigers, in the aim of getting full game time into its best players ahead of round one.
The Kangaroos will have a lengthy 17-day break between Wednesday night's game and their season opener against the Suns.
Scott said North would seek AFL permission to schedule a VFL practice match against Williamstown during that time.
"I suspect there will be a number of guys who have had limited game time in the two JLT games who play in that VFL practice game," he said.
"But we'll just review the loads after this game and review everyone's individual preparation.
"It's great to have the flexibility to play another game if we need it."
Scott hoped forgotten defender Sam Wright would return in that practice match.
Wright has not played a senior game since round 11, 2016, because of recurring ankle and foot injuries.
But the North coach said the classy 27-year-old was "not too far away" from a return.