McGovern injured, Ryder to return, Hayes in jeopardy, Preuss confirmed for GWS debut, Laird returns
Jack Hayes’ spot in the St Kilda 22 is in jeopardy with Paddy Ryder set to return, while Braydon Preuss has been confirmed to play for GWS and Leek Aleer and Neil Erasmus are in the mix for debuts.
TEAMS (key ins/outs)
Key Ins: N.Martin, Shiel, McEntee, Preuss, Weller, McInnes, De Koning, Ford, Ryder – Cerra, Boyd, Long, M.Rioli (26)
Key Outs: Soligo, Pedlar, Sinn, Flynn, McCreery (inj), Z.Guthrie, Sharp, M.McGovern (inj)
Relevant holds: Rachele, Hinge, Skinner, Mead, N.Daicos, Stengle, Ward, MacDonald, Maginness (26), Hayes (26), Ralphsmith (26)
Emgs/Possible subs: Hobbs, Soligo, Pedlar, Aleer (possible subs)
Mitch McGovern (AF $457k SC $256k FWD) was a shock absentee, with Carlton revealing an injury. The club said: “Reported hamstring awareness during the session and went for scans, the result of which confirmed a grade one hamstring strain. At this stage, it is expected to see him return to the side in the vicinity of Round 6-7.”
Paddy Ryder (AF $627k SC $455k RUCK) is named to return for St Kilda, putting Jack Hayes’ (AF $319k SC $102k F/R) spot at risk, with the latter named on an extended bench.
Saints coach Brett Ratten explained: “(Ryder is) pretty likely. It depends how he pulls up (from training) in the next few hours. If something pops up but he’s likely to play.”
On Hayes, Ratten added: “We’re going to have a look at it (three talls). We had an experiment today being taller and smaller. We’ll finalise that later this afternoon. It’s going to be touch and go either way. Jack’s put his best foot forward and played some really good footy for our footy club. The players like playing with him.”
Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera (AF $284k SC $162k D/M) will play again for the Saints. Ratten said: “We thought the growth of him in the back end of the game was pleasing. He was a bit nervous to start. He’ll play this week, talented player, he’s had a taste now. It’s going to be a real growth year for him, he’s going to play a lot of footy at senior level if he keeps going the way he’s going.”
Port have some issues with Robbie Gray (H&S protocols) and Charlie Dixon (ankle setback) unavailable and will offer a game to youngster Jed McEntee (AF $190k SC $123k M/F). He said: “We’ll bring in a couple newer players for us in Mayes and McEntee so we’ll mix and match a little there.”
Braydon Preuss (AF $367k SC $204k RUC) will make his GWS debut as confirmed by coach Leon Cameron. He said: “He’ll play. It’s been a long time waiting because of something of the injuries. He played really well last week. He’s had three games. I think people tend to forget he had back surgery in the off-season so it’s taken a while to build him up. We expect him to step up to the plate.”
Tom Green (AF $694k SC $430k MID) has been in exceptional form early, earning praise from Cameron. He said: “He’s had a great start. He’s been our most consistent mid. He had a great preseason and now it’s transferred straight away. He plays in a similar mold to Hopper.”
Leek Aleer (AF $262k SC $144k DEF) was in the mix for a debut with Phil Davis out injured but has been named an emergency. Cameron said: “Stein, Keeffe and Aleer have all played some really good footy… Young Leek Aleer is really turning some heads at the moment. There’s definitely some options for that key position player for Phil.”
Wayne Milera (AF $382k SC $271k DEF) has been left out by Adelaide. Crows assistant coach Scott Burns said: “He’ll be in the mix this week but he needs to put a block together to get some real confidence in his fitness and his body. He’s a bloke we’re looking forward to get back in when he’s absolutely ready.”
The Crows also confirmed Rory Laird (AF $937k SC $632k MID) will play but Rory Sloane (AF $715k SC $528k MID) has been ruled out with an adductor issue.
Max Lynch (AF $372k SC $207k RUCK) has been ruled out again for Hawthorn. Hawks coach Sam Mitchell said: “Lynch is still unavailable unfortunately. He entered concussion protocols but he wasn’t symptom free until the middle of this week. So he won’t play this week.”
The AFL confirmed that they have extended the deadline for team lodgments for Fremantle and West Coast who play on Sunday, given their challenges with COVID-19. Their teams will come out at 2.30pm WST/5.30pm EDT Saturday.
Freo coach Justin Longmuir was asked about potential debutant Neil Erasmus (AF $272k SC $166k MID). He said: “There’s always a chance but there’s a few things we have to tick off before we get into selection. We’re obviously missing a few in the middle of the ground & were badly beaten there on the weekend.”
Sean Darcy (AF $750k SC $642k RUC) is ‘touch and go’ as he battles an ankle injury. Longmuir said: “He is improving every day. He’s going to be touch and go. He’ll do minimal today… Whether he gets up on the weekend, we feel it’s a short-term thing.”