By TONY WHITE
HULKING prop Dane Laurie has been promoted to join fellow 'bookend', man mountain Xavier Sullivan, in the Rebels front row when South Grafton take on Mullumbimby at Les Donnelly Field, Mullumbimby tonight.
The two giant props form an awesome battering ram to spearhead the Rebels attack.
Rebels captain-coach Stevie Kirby said tonight's game against last season's Group One premiers and the next five weeks when they meet high flyers Seagulls, Murwillumbah and Cudgen, is vitally important.
"I'm confident playing the stronger, more structured sides will bring out the best in us," Kirby said.
The Rebels have suffered only one loss this season but will find an improving Mullumbimby a hard hurdle to leap especially at the Giants home ground.
"We're starting to head in the right direction and playing the Rebels at home is certainly in our favour," coach Dave Latta said.
The Giants pulled off a shock victory over the previously high-flying Ballina Seagulls last Sunday and confidence has soared.
A victory would push the Giants into top six calculations.
The Giants recent emphasis has been put on pace and width rather than bump and grind and it's working.
MULLUMBIMBY: Fullback, Simon Baines; wingers, Troy Smith, Joel Christie; centres, Paul Latta (c), Paul Mitchell; five-eighth, Chase Nelson; halfback, Adrian Browning; props, Adam McKenzie, Rick Oxley; hooker, Bernard Browning; second-rowers, Craig Abbott, Brett Archibald; lock, Mitch Morris. Interchange: Luke Hampson. Coach: Dave Lat- ta.
SOUTH GRAFTON (likely): Fullback, Walter Donnelly; wingers, Dave Purcell, Joe Gordon; centres, Ray Mercy, Ken Mercy; five-eighth, Andy Bell; halfback, Dallas Waters; props, Xavier Sullivan, Dane Laurie; hooker, Stevie Kirby (c); second-rowers, Colby Schrader, Collin Mitchell; lock, Scott Laurie. Interchange: TBA. Coach: Stevie Kirby.