Neale named & declared fit to play, Kangaroo gets debut, rookies dropped

Lachie Neale has been named and declared fit to play by Brisbane coach Chris Fagan, while Will Phillips gets his debut and a few rookies have been dropped ahead of Round 3.

TEAM NEWS

Ins: Mayne, Ballenden, Robertson, Adams

Outs: Elliott (inj), Ruscoe, Sharp, Prior, Coleman, McInerney (inj)

Holds: Grundy, De Goey, Neale, Fullarton

Emergencies: McCreery, Murphy, Prior, Sharp

Rookies Jaxon Prior (AF 181k SC $123k DEF) and Harry Sharp (AF $201k SC $117k DEF) haven’t lasted for Brisbane, while highly-rated Deven Robertson (AF $186k SC $176k M/F) gets a game.

Oscar McInerney (AF $534k SC $443k RUCK) is out with an ankle injury, which may positively impact Tom Fullarton‘s (AF $175k SC $128k F/R) role.

Lachie Neale (AF $829k SC $721k MID) is named in the 22 despite fears of an injury after a light week at training and Lions coach Chris Fagan reassured he’d be right to play.

Fagan said: “Not as far as we’re concerned (is there any doubt). We think he’ll be fine to go tomorrow night. It’s just a bit of a lighter week for Lachie. That often happens with some players. They’re just a bit light early in the week, getting them ready to play. He should be fine.”

DEBUTANT ALERT

North Melbourne confirmed that 2020 Draft third pick Will Phillips (AF $266k SC $198k MID) will debut on Good Friday against the Bulldogs.

North’s profile of Phillips reads: “Ball-winner who burst onto the national stage at Under-16 level in 2018 winning Victoria Metro’s MVP as well as All-Australian honours averaging 27.3 possessions as an inside midfielder.”

UPDATES

Phillips inclusion will have some coaches worried about the job security of Charlie Lazzaro (AF $211k SC $117k MID) and Tom Powell (AF $297k SC $153k MID).

North coach David Noble said: “We have to encourage young guys with their energy. I thought Lazzaro was fantastic in his first full game and Powell is doing some special things.”

Jack Ziebell (AF $651k SC $257k FWD) looks set to play despite an ankle worry. Noble said: “The two Jacks (Mahony and Ziebell) will have a test today but both should be available.”

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West Coast coach Adam Simpson is bullish about Andrew Gaff (AF $756k SC $570k MID) finding his best form again.

Simpson said: “He’ll be fine. He’ll work it out. He’s a good player. He’ll work through it. He’s had a couple of weeks where he’s been a bit down on possessions. We’ve just got to back him in.”

Mark Hutchings (AF $308k SC $157k MID), underpriced in SuperCoach, could be an option to keep an eye out for as he’s set to return from injury at the right time.

West Coast GM of Football Craig Vozzo said: “Mark is in really good condition now. He’s really building his mini pre-season. If he gets through next week he’ll be available to play so that will be Round 5.”

Josh Treacy (AF $170k SC $102k R/F) is available again after suspension for Fremantle but no lock to play. Freo coach Justin Longmuir told 7NewsPerth: “He’ll come into consideration. Obviously we had a pretty good performance on the weekend. It’s an opportunity to keep a settled side. We’ll weigh up all our options.”

St Kilda confirmed Jimmy Webster (AF $324k SC $274k DEF) will miss their Round 3 game against Essendon with concussion.

TOMORROW

Damien Hardwick, David Teague, Ben Rutten, Simon Goodwin and Leon Cameron will all speak to the media. Round 3 will start with the Pies-Lions game and we’ll get the teams for Friday’s Roos-Dogs and Crows-Suns games.

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