Gawn out but 100% for next round, English holds, more debutants named

Max Gawn’s continued absence was the big news of the day while a couple more debutants were confirmed along with the eight teams for Saturday’s matches.

TEAM NEWS
Ins: H.Crozier, J.Bruce, L.Vandermeer, J.Johannisen, R.Bonner, J.Westhoff, B.Ebert, J.Lienert, M.Hartley, D.Howe, J.Patton, J.Cousins, T.Scully, O.Hanrahan, A.Francis, B.Ham, I.Mosquito, J.Stringer, T.Bellchambers, M.Redman, D.Smith, A.Francis, B.Ham, I.Mosquito (debutant), J.Stringer, T.Bellchambers, M.Redman, D.Smith, B.Houli, L.Henry (debutant), J.Kennedy

Outs: B.Dale (omitted), S.Lloyd (omitted), R.West (injured), R.Smith (managed), X.Duursma (omitted), K.Farrell (omitted), D.Houston (suspension), P.Ladhams (suspension), H.Morrison (omitted), C.Nash (omitted), J.Sicily (knee), J.O’Meara (injured), J.Gunston (injured), J.Frawley (injured), T.Cutler (omitted), J.Begley (omitted), S.McKernan (omitted), J.Townsend (omitted), K.Mutch (omitted), B.Zerk-Thatcher (omitted), C.McKenna (injured), N.Broad (omitted), B.Bewley (managed), D.Rampe (hand)

There’s a long list of ins and outs but there’s one big name not among them and that’s Melbourne ruckman Max Gawn (AF $920k SC $721k RUCK) with his PCL issue.

Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin tried to assure that Gawn would be available next round.

Goodwin said: “Max has progressed really strongly but he won’t play. He’s very, very, very close. We just didn’t want to put it at risk. It’s an important player we need to get right and make sure that PCL is healed properly.

“Another seven days will enable us to do that. His movement is really strong. He’s just got to tick off a couple more things next week to be 100% ready to go. Next week he’ll be right to play.

“There’s no doubt for next week. I’ll probably get quoted on that if he misses but he’ll be right to go.”

Tim English (AF $653k SC $506k RUCK) was named despite his ankle complaint and he looks certain to play with no rucks among the Dogs emergencies.

DEBUTANT ALERTS
Late on Thursday night, Essendon confirmed that Irving Mosquito (AF $170k SC $123k FWD) would make his AFL debut.

Mosquito was pick 38 in the 2018 AFL Draft. Bombers coach John Worsfold said: “He’s obviously very quick around the ball and has really good closing speed so he puts pressure on defenders.”

Adelaide announced Jordon Butts (AF $170k SC $123k DEF) will make his debut on Sunday against Geelong.

Butts is a 198cm key defender who was pick 39 in the 2018 AFL Rookie Draft and gets his opportunity with doubts around Daniel Talia’s availability.

GWS confirmed Jake Riccardi (AF $170k SC $117k FWD) will debut in Sunday’s match against West Coast in Perth.

Riccardi was pick 51 in the 2019 AFL Draft. He’s 195cm 20-year-old key forward. The GWS website: “A strong mark and a deadly set shot.”

TOMORROW
We’ve got four games of footy, but also press conferences with Nathan Buckley and Brett Ratten. We’ll also learn the 22s for Sunday matches, ahead of the third game of Saturday.

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