Worsfold non-committal on Draper, Dons ‘confident’ on Ridley, Grundy named

Sam Draper’s selection remains in limbo after John Worsfold’s unconvincing comments, while Jordan Ridley looks set to play despite a rib issue and some Adelaide rookies held their spots at selection.

DRAPER DILEMMA
It feels like there’s no guarantees Sam Draper (AF $238k SC $166k RUCK) will play in Wednesday’s game against Gold Coast despite some reasonably good form.

Essendon coach John Worsfold said: “We’re really pleased with how Sam is going. Up against a strong mature ruckman in Mumford, he contributed in a strong way for us. We’re assessing how guys are pulling up, roles they’re playing.

“We’re now in our best position we’ve ever been in my time at the club; having Phillips, Bellchambers and Draper, all guys we’re comfortable having as our lead ruckman in any game. That’ll really help us in this tight period with tight turnarounds.”

RIDDLER RIGHT
Jordan Ridley
(AF $629k SC $509k DEF) looks like he’ll be available for Wednesday’s game against the Suns despite a late rib issue against GWS Giants on Friday night.

Worsfold said: “He’s pulled up really well. It’s normal protocol for Jordan. We had training this morning and we assess everyone after main training then push forward but really confident with Jordan.”

Worsfold also confirmed Jacob Townsend (AF $299k SC $207k FWD) would miss with concussion.

TEAM NEWS
Ins: Kyle Hartigan, Andrew McPherson, Brodie Smith, Tyson Stengle, Shane McAdam, Lynden Dunn, Darcy Cameron, Travis Varcoe, Rupert Wills, Tim Broomhead, Chris Mayne
Out: Jake Kelly, Chayce Jones, Lachlan Murphy (suspended), Will Hamill (injured), Daniel Talia (managed), Isaac Quaynor (injured), Will Hoskin-Elliott (injured), Jamie Elliott (injured), Adam Treloar (injured), Darcy Moore (managed), Ben Reid (managed)

Brodie Smith (AF $652k SC $406k DEF/MID*) returns from a knee injury for Adelaide. Crows coach Matthew Nicks said: “Brodie will play. He’ll play a number of different roles, across half-back and maybe back in the midfield depending on how we’re going.”

Chayce Jones (AF $282k SC $208k FWD) has been dropped as the Crows seek to “get him back to his best footy”.

Young Crows duo Lachlan Sholl (AF $178k SC $123k DEF) and Harry Schoenberg (AF $237k SC $117k MID) have held their spots.

Crows coach Matthew Nicks said: “We were really pleased with the way they began the game especially. Sholly on the wing showed composure. Schoenberg inside, against a hardened midfield, to hold his own, what an initiation for him. We look forward to seeing what they bring again.”

Brodie Grundy (AF $831k SC $592k RUCK was named by Collingwood despite rumours he’d be rested. Last round’s debutant Trey Ruscoe (AF $180k SC $117k DEF/MID) was also selected.

On Sunday, Pies coach Nathan Buckley said: “Brodes cops (attention) every week so it’s not something we’re concerned about. The physical game/challenge is something Brodes has always risen to. We’ve got no fears in that regard.”

PORT PAIR
Port Adelaide confirmed Connor Rozee (AF $451k SC $288k MID/FWD*) will need to miss Friday’s clash with Geelong due to a heel injury.

The Port website wrote: “Connor Rozee will miss Friday night’s game against Geelong with the 20-year-old to be given time off his feet to let a heel injury settle.”

Brad Ebert (AF $609k SC $421k FWD) will be available again for Friday’s clash with Geelong after a concussion after passing his tests.

OTHERS
Charlie Cameron
’s (AF $528k SC $432k FWD) knee injury isn’t as bad as originally feared so he’s not ruled out of Saturday’s clash with North Melbourne.

Lions High Performance Manager Damien Austin said: “There doesn’t seem to be any structural damage from his scans. Little bit of swelling there. He also rolled is ankle in that incident. We’ll see how he is later in the week to train.”

Daniel Rich (AF $547k SC $429k DEF) accepted his one-game ban for engaging in rough conduct (dangerous tackle).

TOMORROW
Stuart Dew and John Longmire will address the media on Tuesday, while the 22s for Wednesday’s Essendon-Gold Coast game will be announced.

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