More game time for Tristan Sailor is part of St George Illawarra's NRL game plan against the Sydney Roosters on Thursday night.
The 22-year-old Sailor has only played 14 minutes of NRL this season and coach Paul McGregor is cautious not to overload him.
However, he wants Sailor in the line with his hands on the ball against the bacl-to-back premiers at WIN Stadium.
In his short stint against South Sydney, Sailor set up a try and provided an injection of energy.
It prompted McGregor to concede he mismanaged his impact players in the close loss to the Rabbitohs and that Sailor should have been called on earlier.
Again Sailor has been named on the interchange bench but after dumping star half Corey Norman for Thursday's must-win game, McGregor is ready to mix things up with the X-factor.
"Tristan has only played 20 minutes in 2020 so it's very hard to go out and expect him to be in control of his game at a young stage of his career, McGregor said.
"We thought the right thing to do this week was to give Tristan more time but not expect him to play 80 minutes just yet."
Although Sailor was at fault for an intercept pass that led to a late Souths try, McGregror was pleased with the youngster's performance.
"Outside that decision I thought he was good," he said.
"He was busy, he was active, defensively was strong and set up a try for us, ran the footy.
"We just need more of that when he gets on the field this week."
Sailor will be one of two rookie halves for the Saints on Thursday night with Adam Clune to play halfback alongside State of Origin star Ben Hunt, who has been named at five-eighth.
Hunt has spent the past seven weeks playing from the bench or at dummy half but is shifted again with just eight games remaining in the season.
"It's a team sport, it's a 17-person game and people have got to adjust to what we need as a team now," McGregor said.
"I thought the best thing to do this week was start with the experienced half there, beside young Clune who's coming back from a (concussion) and see how that goes early."
Australian Associated Press