Wests coach Matt Lantry described it as one of the toughest meetings he's had at the selection table.
Other mentors across the Newcastle Rugby League would like to have the same headache - not being able to fit everyone in.
But after missing the semi-finals for the first time since 1979 the Rosellas are keen to bounce back immediately and have assembled a star-studded line-up, featuring five former NRL players.
"It was probably one of my toughest periods as a coach in way of naming a first grade side," Lantry said.
"There are a couple of guys playing reserve grade on the weekend that probably haven't done that for two or three years."
Wests regulars Uti Baker and Chad Knight are back in reserves for Sunday's season opener against Lakes at Cahill Oval.
"There was obviously going to be disappointment, but you would be disappointed if there wasn't," Lantry said.
"It just showed the blokes cared about playing for us and playing first grade."
There were also some shuffles within the 17 - incoming Maitland playmaker Ryan Walsh will be on the bench and 2017 player of the year Ryan Walker shifts to the second-row while four newcomers start, including Pat Mata'utia (Knights) and Alex Langbridge (Wyong - NSW Cup).
Opponents Lakes, having lost at least seven of last year's grand final team since September, will see five players on debut at their home ground.
John Toleafoa and Manny Sithole have their maiden outings in the top grade while Jarron Costello, Nick Worthington and Cal Orchard are wearing the Seagulls uniform for the first time.
In Sunday's other round-one clash title holders Souths visit Central at St John Oval minus premiership stars Harry Van Dartel (Woden Valley - Canberra), Lachlan Walmsley (South Sydney - NSW Cup), Henry Penn (Norths Devils - Queensland Cup) and Faitotoa Faitotoa (Redcliffe Dolphins - Queensland Cup) but the Lions welcome back skipper Brendan Simpson, who was injured for last year's decider.
Saturday has Kurri hosting Macquarie and Maitland traveling to Cessnock.
The Bulldogs are down Mitch Cullen (overseas) and Jarred Anderson (Knights - NSW Cup) at Kurri Sportsground this weekend while the visiting Scorpions welcome 2019 recruits Liam Higgins and Ben Roose into the starting side.
The Goannas have scored the services of Hayden Loughrey (Knights - NSW Cup) in the halves at Cessnock Sportsground for April 13 while Matt Allwood (knee) is another week away from debuting for the Pickers.
All games kick-off at 3pm.