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Could new Cat go back to replace Zach?

Is Zach Tuohy's consecutive games streak in doubt? Mitch Cleary's pre-season update on the Cats

AS DOUBT surrounds the availability of defender Zach Tuohy for round one, Geelong coach Chris Scott has forecast the possibility of new recruit Gary Rohan going behind the ball.

Tuohy remains in a race against time for the season opener against Collingwood on March 22, which could pave the way for Rohan to move back or a potential debut for draftee Jordan Clark.

Recruited to provide pressure in the front half after playing much of 2018 at Sydney as a forward, Rohan has been training predominantly as a forward this summer.

COACH CONUNDRUMS We solve your position puzzlers

However, the 27-year-old's ability to add speed from defence will be strongly considered.

"We haven't ruled out the possibility of Gary Rohan playing back at times as well, we've seen him do that to good effect, mainly as an extra number with Sydney," Scott told  

"Our recruiters still talk about him playing as a defender in his junior career. 

"Like most of our team, form's going to come into it in a big way and it can be a mistake to lock yourself into a certain mix."

While Clark will be hoping to push his case with strong performances in the JLT Community Series, the Cats' key defenders will also be on audition over the next three weeks.

With Harry Taylor (195cm) back to full fitness, he'll have a fight on his hands to win a spot against best and fairest Mark Blicavs (198cm), Lachie Henderson (196cm), Jack Henry (191cm), Jake Kolodjashnij (193cm) and Tom Stewart (190cm).

Despite training Henry as a defender this summer, after spending the last six weeks of 2018 as a forward, Scott hinted at the prospect of using the 20-year-old as a swingman within games.  

"Every now and then I think Jack Henry could end up a pretty good second tall forward," Scott said.  

"Even going back to the VFL footy that Jack played (in 2017), he showed a pretty strong history of playing as a defender then going forward and finding a way to kick goals.

"Our logic is that we don't need him to train much as a forward to have the option of throwing him there in a game.

"We don't want to think too far ahead and we don't want to rule anything out but when you go through the names there, it's a better position to be in that not having enough options.

"There's a bit of flexibility in there and competition for spots."

The battle for the No.1 ruck mantle will also be hotly contested after captain Joel Selwood revealed last month mature-age draftee Darcy Fort was pushing Rhys Stanley for round one.  

The pair will be contending with Ryan Abbott and Zac Smith, who have both returned to the track after interrupted pre-seasons with injuries.  

And while Scott's preferred set-up in 2018 consisted of one ruckman and a forward who could pinch-hit – he was leaving all options open ahead of 2019.  

"If we isolated to the last week or two, we've had all our big guys on the track performing well, and I include (Esava) Ratugolea and (Wylie) Buzza in that as well.  

"That was the basic aim, to get them on the park and in good form and save the decision-making on exactly the order until games start." 

Ratugolea remains on track for the start to the season, vying for a key forward slot with Buzza alongside spearhead Tom Hawkins.  

The Cats kick-start their JLT Community Series on the road against West Coast on March 1 before hosting Essendon at GMHBA Stadium on March 7.