Erasmus & NOD named on extended bench, Hayes returns, Hinge dropped, Cripps out, GWS confirm debutant,
Neil Erasmus and Nathan O’Driscoll are no locks to hold their spots after being named on Fremantle’s extended bench, while Jack Hayes returns along with Corey Durdin and Tom Stewart, with Mitch Hinge omitted.
Finn Callaghan (AF $286k SC $198k MID) will debut for GWS. He was pick 3 in the 2021 AFL Draft and is a left-footed mid/wingman. He had 17 disposals, 6 tackles and one goal in the VFL last week
Key Ins: Ford, Garcia, Yeo, J.Hayes, Flynn, Callaghan, Durdin, Skinner (26), S.Hayes (26), Baldwin (26), Hobbs (26), Serong (26), Stewart
Key Outs: Hough, Naitanui (H&S), Ryder (susp), Hinge, Schoenberg, Gibcus (mng), Preuss (susp), Cripps (inj), Wines (ill)
Key holds: Perez, Naish, Dixon, Windhager, T.Dow, Mead (26), McEntee (26), O’Driscoll (26), Erasmus (26), Ward, MacDonald
Possible subs: A.Jones, Hough, D.Stephens
Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir was unable to offer any assurances on the job security of rookies Neil Erasmus (AF $333k SC $166k MID) and Nathan O’Driscoll (AF $275k SC $167k D/M) who have been named on their extended bench for their Sunday game. Caleb Serong and Darcy Tucker are in contention to return, putting their spots in jeopardy.
Longmuir said: “It’s a good problem. Raz got his opportunity, performed well. Nathan got his opportunity on the wing and performed really well. Competition for spots is healthy.”
Eagles rookie Greg Clark (AF $190k SC $117k MID) is worth getting on the radar for a mid-season bargain having returned to fitness after a pre-season shoulder injury. Eagles coach Adam Simpson said: “He’ll play WAFL this week. He’ll get some minutes. It’s his first game.”
Simpson also confirmed that Elliot Yeo (AF $696k SC $470k MID) will return to the side after a pre-season calf injury.
Richmond continues to have no update on Dustin Martin (AF $676k SC $503k M/F) who missed three games. Tigers coach Damien Hardwick said: “No news at this stage. Once we get further information you’ll be first to know. There’s no rush from our point of view.”
North Melbourne again flagged offering Paul Curtis (AF $222k SC $117k FWD) an opportunity for a debut with forward Cam Zurhaar out due to concussion protocols but he has missed out.
Kangaroos coach David Noble said: “There’s a couple that will come back into calculations for us. Whether it’s Eddie Ford, Tom Powell or Paul Curtis. He’s been around the mark but didn’t have a (VFL) game last week.”
Noble confirmed Jack Ziebell (AF $764k SC $538k DEF) will stay forward, while he ruled out Charlie Comben (AF $190k SC $123k R/F) from coming to take Zurhaar’s role, potentially impact Tristan Xerri.
He said: “Probably not at Marvel. It’s a consideration but probably not the way we’ll go. The balance of how we looked last week, with Larks, Jack going down there & Cam we had some mobility and strike points.”