Shaw staying away from brother Heath as Roos get set for Giants


North Melbourne have set themselves for a big performance against rebounding Greater Western Sydney with caretaker coach Rhyce Shaw describing Sunday's match in Hobart as "a really important game in terms of where we want to go as a footy club".

The Kangaroos are unbeaten in the past three games with Shaw yet to lose as coach since taking over from Brad Scott in round 11.

Rhyce (right) and Heath Shaw when both were playing in Sydney.

Rhyce (right) and Heath Shaw when both were playing in Sydney.Credit:Brendan Esposito

They defeated Richmond on a Friday night before accounting for Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium last Saturday night.

However Shaw sees the Giants as their biggest test yet with the club likely to get a true indication as to where they sit.

"It is a really important game in terms of where we want to go as a footy club," Shaw said.

"This week is so important to us. I am looking forward to playing GWS at their peak and in good form. "

Shaw downplayed the fact he was coaching against his brother Heath although he conceded it was a strange feeling preparing to limit his influence.

"I haven't spoken to Heath. I have stayed away, I am very focused on what I need to do and what the boys need to do. I have really been locked in on preparing to play a really good team," Shaw said.

"He's a bloody good player and he has done some damage over time and I hope we have put some plans in place that will stop him from doing that."

Injury to All-Australian midfielder Shaun Higgins has weakened the midfield with Shaw acknowledging his absence was significant.

However he said the silver lining was that some of the club's younger players may get more time in the midfield as a result.

Champion midfielder Ben Cunnington is due to play his 200th game for the Kangaroos with Shaw saying his ability in the contest was astounding.

He said former Collingwood premiership player and North Melbourne assistant coach Gavin Brown had described Cunnington as the best contested ball player he had seen play.

The Kangaroos are still completing their coaching panel with another person likely to be added to the panel that includes club great Glenn Archer, chairman Ben Buckley, CEO Carl Dilena and football operations manager Cameron Joyce already on the panel.