Rioli ban overturned, job security boost for Martin & Hayes, Laird set for early return, Duncan cleared for R2

There was positive news for the job security of cash cow rookies Nic Martin and Jack Hayes, while Rory Laird and Mitch Duncan both could be set to return in Round 2.

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Bad news for Will Snelling (AF $656k SC $439k FWD) is good news for the long-term job security of Round 1 Rising Star Nic Martin (AF $266k SC $102k FWD).

Essendon Head of High Performance Sean Murphy said about Snelling: “Presented with a bit of calf tightness and that showed up as a little calf strain. He’ll be a few weeks now to build up.”

Kyle Langford (AF $667k SC $472k MID) has also been ruled out for approximately 10 weeks with a hamstring injury.

In a similar vein regarding cash cows, St Kilda confirmed Paddy Ryder (AF $627k SC $455k RUCK) will not play Round 2 in the AFL, meaning another opportunity for impressive debutant Jack Hayes (AF $253k SC $102k F/R).

The Saints update said: “Will make his return to football via the VFL this Sunday as Sandringham prepares for its 1st game of the year against Casey.”

Nat Fyfe (AF $709k SC $546k MID) may miss again which could be good for the midfield time of Will Brodie (AF $409k SC $224k M/F). Fremantle Executive GM of Football Peter Bell said: “We haven’t given up hope for this weekend but we’ll just see on Thursday.”

Sean Darcy (AF $786k SC $642k RUCK) is listed as a test. Bell said: “He had the calf awareness and he’s put in a lot of work over the weekend. We think that he’ll be available for main training and also available for selection.”

West Coast successfully appealed the one-game ban of Willie Rioli (AF $312k SC $225k FWD) at the AFL Tribunal, making him free to play in Round 2.

With arguably more Draft relevance, Rory Laird (AF $937k SC $632k MID) is way ahead of schedule in returning from his hand injury, although that can’t be good for Jake Soligo’s (AF $214k SC $117k MID) job security.

Adelaide High Performance Manager Darren Burgess said: “He will do most of training on Wednesday & if he gets through that unscathed then he will be available this week & if not this week then certainly back for Round 3.”

Similarly Geelong declared Mitch Duncan (AF $841k SC $540k M/F) is available for selection in Round 2 after playing managed minutes in the VFL practice game on the weekend following a calf injury.

Cats Head of Development Matthew Egan said: “He played half forward and midfield roles and got through almost to three-quarter time before he hit his distance limit.”

Another cheap defensive option is Nathan Kreuger (AF $287k SC $198k DEF) who has been cleared from concussion protocols by Collingwood and is available for selection.

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