Port confirm debutant, Marshall to return for Saints, Cripps injury-free

Lachlan Jones will debut for Port Adelaide offering a fresh defensive rookie option, while Rowan Marshall, Luke McDonald and Nat Fyfe all look set to return and Patrick Cripps is injury-free.

TEAM NEWS

Ins: L.Jones (deb), Houli, Ross, Mansell (deb), Martyn (deb)

Outs: Bergman, Ladhams, Rioli, Eggmolesse-Smith, Prestia (inj), Caddy, McIntosh (inj)

Holds: Drew

Relevant emergencies (possible subs): Bergman, Naish, Collier-Dawkins

Lachlan Jones’ inclusion means Miles Bergman (AF $227k SC $123k FWD) misses out again. Port coach Ken Hinkley said: “Sam Mayes will be in contention to be the medical sub. We won’t decide until right before the game. Miles Bergman will also be in that group.”

Bachar Houli (AF $764k SC $465K DEF) returns for Richmond, which may worry some Jayden Short (AF $684k SC $520k DEF) owners while the two debutants were named on Wednesday.

DEBUTANT ALERTS

Indeed, Port confirmed Lachlan Jones (AF $240k SC $139k DEF) will make his long-awaited debut after a minor hamstring injury earlier this season.

Port coach Ken Hinkley said: “Lachie Jones will make his AFL debut tomorrow night against the Tigers. We’ve made one change. At this stage Ladhams comes out for Jones.”

TEAM NEWS

Don’t expect a Josh Treacy (AF $170k SC $102k FWD/RUCK) debut for Fremantle just yet, based on coach Justin Longmuir’s comments.

Longmuir said: “We’d like to play Josh and give him opportunity but the second ruck becomes a bit of an issue. It’s probably why ‘Lobby’ is such an important part of our team.”

And expect Lloyd Meek (AF $227k SC $177k RUCK) to hold his spot. Longmuir said: “I’d think we’d play two rucks at this stage. Meek got beaten on the weekend but it’s the first time he has been for a long time but we have to keep backing our young players in.”

Nat Fyfe (AF $700k SC $608k MID) looks likely to be back from his concussion too. Longmuir said: “Main training will be the last box he has to tick… he’s feeling really good and has had no symptoms… He’ll still split his time between forward and midfield.”

Erase any thoughts of holding Hayden Young (AF $369k SC $280k DEF) after his hamstring injury too, as Longmuir said he’d be out “for up to 12 weeks”.

Fremantle have also lost Sam Switkowski (AF $410k SC $323k FWD) to a hand injury for “at least six weeks”.

Rowan Marshall (AF $738k SC $557k R/F) will play for St Kilda in a boost after injury. Saints coach Brett Ratten said: “He’s been itching and been asking multiple times ‘can I play, can I play?’… We’ll monitor his workload through the game, but he’s pretty clear to play all of it.”

His return may actually aid Paul Hunter (AF $212k SC $102k RUCK) get a reprieve. Ratten said: “Ro probably will need a rest so whether it’s Shaun McKernan or Josh Battle or we think about Paul Hunter coming back in, there’s a few options there.”

Paddy Ryder (SF $575k SC $505k RUCK) is back but likely a few weeks away according to Ratten.

Ratten said: “He’s done a fair bit of work away but he probably hasn’t done all the work that the boys have been doing here so we’ve got to bridge that gap a little bit.”

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Opportunities may be aplenty at St Kilda with both Jarryn Geary (AF $382k SC $320k DEF) and Dan Hannebery (AF $662k SC $338k MID) suffering fresh injuries and will both miss at least a month.

Good news if you held Patrick Cripps (AF $706k SC $511k MID), with Carlton coach David Teague reassuring he’s over his reported injury. Teague said: “He’s pulled up a lot better this week. He looks to be pretty well back to normal now I think.”

Luke McDonald (AF $692k SC $512k DEF) is set to return for North Melbourne from a quad issue.

North GM of Football Brady Rawlings said: “We expect him to be available this week… We’ve got our main training session so the hope is Luke gets through with no issues and is available for selection.”

However, Jed Anderson (AF $783k SC $562k MID) will miss “up to two months” with surgery required on his injured ankle, which may offer some opportunity to some of North’s rookies.

Sam Menegola (AF $760k SC $579k MID) looks set to return from his AC joint injury.

Geelong Football General Manager Simon Lloyd said: “Menegola is two weeks following his grade two AC joint injury, he was tested last week and went very close to playing against Hawthorn. We’re planning on Sam being available this week.”

TOMORROW

Coaches David Noble, Leon Cameron and Luke Beveridge will speak to the media while we’ll learn the 22s for Saturday’s games.

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