Dockers debutant confirmed, more Eagles in protocols, uncertainty on Serong & Dusty, Xerri praise
Fremantle confirmed a debutant while there’s uncertainty around Caleb Serong’s availability along with Dustin Martin’s return for Richmond. Plus Tristan Xerri won praise from North coach David Noble.
Ins: Cerra, Young, Day, Howard, Ryder, Grimes
Outs: Fogarty, McGovern (inj), McDonald (inj), McEvoy (inj), Phillips, Sharman, Joyce, Byrnes, Miller, Aarts
Key holds: Durdin, Maginness, Hayes, Ralphsmith
Emgs/possible subs: Boyd, Long, Rioli (possible subs)
Fremantle will hand a debut to 2021 AFL Draft pick 10 Neil Erasmus (AF $272k SC $166k MID). Freo stand-in coach Jaymie Graham said: “He’s had a fantastic pre-season. He’s really earned this opportunity… He’ll spend most of his time in the midfield but we can push him forward as well.”
Fremantle remain unsure if Caleb Serong (AF $659k SC $451k MID) will be fit to play this round due to a knee issue. Graham said: “He’s been off his legs all week, we’re going to give him as much time as possible to get up.”
The make-up of Freo’s derby opponents West Coast remains unclear with reports of several players going into protocols, but Nic Naitanui (AF $688k SC $627k RUCK) was at training on Friday.
Willie Rioli (AF $358k SC $225k FWD), however, has been ruled out entering health and safety protocols along with a few others. West Coast coach Adam Simpson said: “I think we’re missing another five under protocols. Shuey, Duggan, Rioli, Bailey Williams and Jack Williams.”
Hugh Dixon (AF $197k SC $102k F/R) is out of protocols and in the mix for selection as Naitanui’s back-up. Simpson said: “The second ruck is an interesting one, so we will see how that goes, we’ve got a few options, Dixon, Edwards, one or two others.”
Richmond are still unsure of if or when Dustin Martin (AF $676k SC $503k M/F) will return having stepped away for personal reasons. Tigers coach Damien Hardwick said: “We have no further update at this stage. We give him time and wish him all the best. We can’t wait to welcome him back at some stage, but when that is we’re not sure.”
North coach David Noble praised popular trade-in target Tristan Xerri (AF $354k SC $208k FWD) for his role as number one ruck. Noble said: “The two rucks went really well for us last week. I think Tristan has continued to advance.”
Noble offered little insight into the vague timeline of 4-8 weeks on Tarryn Thomas (AF $621k SC $459k M/F). He said: “I know we’ve got to take our time. Internal bruising is always something we’ve got to be guided from a medical perspective. We’re not sure of the range of timeframe yet.”