Door open for Briggs as Mumford ruled out, Highmore test, May locked in
Kieren Briggs firmed for a game for the GWS Giants after Shane Mumford was ruled out by Leon Cameron, while Steven May looks certain to play and Tom Highmore is in the mix listed as a test.
The GWS Giants ruck situation is intriguing, particularly with some coaches relying on Kieren Briggs (AF $306k SC $230k D/F) for cover following injuries.
GWS coach Leon Cameron ruled out Shane Mumford (AF $492k SC $423k RUCK) this round and discussed Briggs along with the returning Braydon Preuss (AF $377k SC $303k RUCK).
Cameron said: “Shane won’t play. He’s following the same pattern as he has all year… We’ve learned our lesson when we’ve pushed him out too much.”
On Preuss, he added: “All of a sudden he’s going to put his name up. The way he’s moved the last week was really pleasing. He gets another opportunity today (at training). It’s a heavy discussion.”
On Briggs, he also said: “Young Briggsy has been playing some really good footy… We’ve got that decision with Preuss and Briggs, whether we play both of them. That’ll be a consideration. We’ve some options.”
Steven May (AF $489k SC $443k DEF) appears a lock to return after being a late out in Round 22.
Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin said: “Steve, Tom (McDonald) and Jack (Viney) will be available. They’ll all come into the team. Tom is the one who’s got to get through training today but we’re really confident.”
Another defensive cover option, Tom Highmore (AF $447k SC $354k DEF), is listed as a test in the Saints injury report.
St Kilda’s update said: “The Saints could regain defender Tom Highmore (hand) in time for their final game of the season.”
Leo Connolly (AF $286k SC $208k D/M) is also a test and will be “monitoried” after concussion ruled him out last round.
West Coast said in their injury report that Connor West (AF $298k SC $176k MID) is in the mix after a groin issue having been dropped last week.
The Eagles also officially ruled out Tim Kelly (AF $571k SC $416k MID) due to an MCL injury.
Kyle Langford (AF $661k SC $457k M/F) also won’t play this round, as he recovers from a hamstring, along with Harrison Jones (AF $307k SC $262k FWD) with a foot problem.
On Langford, Essendon Head of High Performance Sean Murphy said: “He won’t be available this weekend. We’ll assess him over the next couple of weeks and it depends (if he returns) where we sit as a team.”
On Jones, Murphy said: “Depending on how we go over this weekend, we’re looking to push him to play in the next couple of weeks.”
Adam Simpson, Chris Scott, Damien Hardwick and David Noble will speak to the media, with the latter to offer an update on Jack Ziebell, while we’ll get the teams for the final home-and-away round games.