Hayes & Rioli out, Preuss no certainty, Whitfield to return, Richmond reveal debutant, Hall in the mix

Richmond confirmed a debutant for Thursday night’s game against Port Adelaide who are set to leave out Sam Hayes, while GWS provided updates on Braydon Preuss, Lachie Whitfield and Tim Taranto.

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THURSDAY TEAMS

Ins: Clarke, Pickett, Balta

Outs: Rioli, Ross, Castagna, Cumberland, Hayes

Emergencies/possible subs: Lambert, Cumberland, Mead

Richmond confirmed a debut for Judson Clarke (AF $232k SC $117k M/F), who went pick 30 in the 2021 AFL Draft. Clarke has averaged 14.3 disposals per game across nine VFL matches in 2022, and booted 11 goals, including a season-high haul of four against Footscray in Round 3.

Sam Hayes (AF $408k SC $308k RUCK) didn’t travel to Melbourne with the Port squad having had illness during their bye week. Port coach Ken Hinkley hinted at a change to their tall set-up: “Most likely we’ll be probably smaller than taller… You can’t sit with the status quo and let that continue on.”

Brynn Teakle (AF $190k SC $102k F/R) seems to be in the mix for a debut but not yet this round. Hinkley said: “100% he is (an AFL option). We brought him in with that in mind. He’s played WAFL level. He’s a good option for us. Hayesy is only a very young ruckman, still developing. It’s something we’ll look at.”

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UPDATES

Braydon Preuss (AF $683k SC $457k RUCK) is still in doubt to return in Round 13 according to GWS caretaker coach Mark McVeigh. He said: “He’s had a bit of illness. A few little body issues. (He had) a really hard session today. Had a good look at him, he looked good, felt good.

“He’s on the right direction hopefully to be available. But if not we’ll put that to next week. We’re really hoping he’ll be available but he’s competing with Matthew Flynn as well who’s been doing a great job.”

Lachie Whitfield (AF $741k SC $423k D/M) appears set to return from an ankle issue, which will put pressure on Jacob Wehr (AF $256k SC $123k DEF). McVeigh said: “They’re both available (Whitfield and Callan Ward). Lachie, we wanted to have a really good look at. He needed a good break and he’s had that. He’s trained strongly since he’s come back.”

McVeigh also provided an update on Tim Taranto (AF $781k SC $465k M/F) who has been out with a back issue. He said: “Tim is ticking off all the sessions that’s required. Right now he’s looking on track to potentially be available next week. He’s in a good spot. He’ll have a pretty hard session Friday, another one Saturday.”

One to keep an eye on is North Melbourne’s Aaron Hall (AF $818k SC $511k DEF) who is set to return from a hamstring injury. North Football Performance GM Dan McPherson said: “Has progressed through his rehab. He’s had a couple of good weeks of training. We’ve got main training on Thursday. We fully expect him to get through training and be available for selection.”

McPherson also clarified the status of Jason Horne-Francis (AF $522k SC $311k M/F) who was limping late on the weekend. He said: “Jase got a whack to his Achilles late in the game, came off the ground but he’s pulled up really well. There was no injury per se, it was just a collision.”

Josh Ward (AF $411k SC $248k MID) has had a prolonged time in concussion protocols but could return via the VFL this weekend. Hawthorn Head Physio Andrew Lambart: “Josh is working his way through the protocols. He’s still got a couple to tick off so, at this stage, he’s still a test to play this weekend.”

Ned Long (AF $190k SC $102k M/F) will not debut this weekend. Lambart said: “Ned presented with some hamstring tightness in a training session. We’ve scanned him and he’s got some minor hamstring damage. We expecting him to be available first week after the bye.”

Jack Steele (AF $892k SC $590k MID) isn’t too far away form a return. St Kilda said: “Back running as his quest for quick return from AC surgery continues… Aiming for a senior recall for the Saints’ clash against Sydney (Round 15), however his availability will be assessed closer to the time.”

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