Neale timeframe, Suns confirm ruck inclusion, Tiger cubs to hold for now
Brisbane have been boosted with a slightly more specific timeframe for the return of Lachie Neale whilst the Suns are ready to bring back three key players including Touk Miller and Zac Smith.
Luke Jackson could return however Jack Viney is still a few weeks away, impacting a few well-owned players such as Max Gawn, James Jordon and James Harmes. Popular Tiger rookies are all set to hold their spots due to strong performances as well as no returning troops according to Damien Hardwick.
The Brisbane Lions are planning for life with Lachie Neale (AF $746k SC $578k MID) again however there is still some debate as to when that will be.
Brisbane coach Chris Fagan said today: “He’s trying to get back for our game against Melbourne in 3 weeks’ time & then we have a bye, probably for me it’s more realistic that he comes back after the bye.”
Fellow Queensland residents the Gold Coast Suns are set to welcome some key names back this weekend.
Touk Miller (AF $846k SC $592k MID) is the big in. Suns coach Stuart Dew: “Touk & Nick (Holman) will definitely come back in. It’ll be the balance of how many changes we make, given there’s already three.”
That third change mentioned is the return of Zac Smith (AF $392k SC $216k RUCK). This could mean an omission for Chris Burgess (AF $324k SC 235k D/R) who had taken up a role in the ruck in recent weeks.
Riley Collier-Dawkins (AF $290k SC $182k MID) impressed Tigers coach Damien Hardwick again, when he said: “We’ve found some players. Riley Collier-Dawkins, I thought was terrific again last week.”
Hugo Ralphsmith (AF $176k SC $123k M/F) and Rhyan Mansell (AF $262k SC $176k DEF) also received praise from Hardwick, who said: “Hugo Ralphsmith showed he’s going to be a player of the future. Mansell has been terrific since he came into the side. We’ve found some solid gems.”
James Harmes was one of the most traded in players last week and justified the selection with a 73% centre bounce attendance rate. James Jordon (AF $520k SC $360k MID) also delivered with a huge 13 tackles.
These figures could however not be a long-term thing with Melbourne onballer Jack Viney (AF $687k SC $500k MID) looking to return in the next few weeks. Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin said: "He's fine, he's not going to play this week. He's re-loading his foot. Not sure about next week. He's not far away.”
Max Gawn (AF $818k SC $678k RUCK) was another beneficiary of the Demons’ injury list however Luke Jackson (AF $482k SC $405k FWD) could return this week according to Goodwin who said: "We haven't made a decision yet, but everything at the moment is looking like he'll get through & that will give us some selection headaches.”
Alec Waterman (AF $256k SC $148k FWD) could have a chance at the selection table as Devon Smith (AF $516k MID/FWD SC $351k MID) was ruled out until the bye with a hamstring injury.
Tomorrow we will see press conferences from Adam Simpson, Chris Fagan, David Teague and Leon Cameron plus Crows assistant Nathan van Berlo. We will also for the first time since Round 1 2020, be given Thursday teams including full teams for Friday and Saturday games as well Sunday squads.