Eagle Gaff out of AFL clash with Swans

·3-min read

West Coast will be without star midfielder Andrew Gaff when they take on Lance Franklin's Sydney Swans at GMHBA Stadium on Sunday.

Gaff was initially named for the match, but was ruled out on Saturday after failing to overcome a hand injury.

First-year midfielder Luke Edwards, the son of Adelaide Crows great Tyson Edwards, has been named as Gaff's replacement after initially being dropped for the match.

Franklin has kicked 15 goals in his past three games against West Coast and looms as a major figure yet again after regaining fitness and form this year.

The 34-year-old, who almost lifted his side to victory last week against Port Adelaide with a four-goal haul, now has 29.9 from 10 games this season.

Eagles defender Tom Barrass, who had his hands full against Bulldogs star Aaron Naughton last week, is set to be given the job of curbing Franklin.

When Barrass last lined up on Franklin - in the season opener in 2018 - "Buddy" booted 8.1 in a famous display.

"He's done some damage in the past against us," Eagles coach Adam Simpson said.

"In the first game at Optus (he kicked eight goals), and he had a pretty good day at the SCG a few years ago as well (when he kicked 5.4).

"We've got Tom Barrass available and Jeremy McGovern down there, and there'll be some handovers as well."

Sunday's match on neutral territory is crucial to the premiership hopes of both sides.

West Coast's 55-point loss to the Bulldogs left them with an 8-6 record and a poor percentage of 102.6.

Sydney, who have lost three of their past five matches, sit just four percentage points above the Eagles.

The Swans have been one of the few teams to have tasted success at GMHBA Stadium in recent times, winning three of their past four matches at the venue.

For West Coast, Geelong's home ground has proven to be a graveyard.

The Eagles' last win there was in 2006, with their average losing margin in their seven matches since being a whopping 65 points.

West Coast's most recent visit there - in round six - resulted in a 97-point loss to the Cats.

Eagles midfielder Elliot Yeo said the side won't focus too much on the horror record.

"I don't really think about it too much. Bad memories - no not really," Yeo said.

"We just haven't played our best football down there.

"We are looking forward to the challenge and looking forward to hopefully changing that around."

West Coast have made five changes for the match, dropping Jake Waterman, Jack Petruccelle and Josh Rotham.

Star goalsneak Liam Ryan is suspended, while Gaff is the latest to go out of the side.

Zac Langdon, Nathan Vardy, Alex Witherden, Jamaine Jones and Luke Foley earned call-ups.

The Swans recalled Nick Blakey and Sam Wicks for Kaiden Brand (omitted) and James Rowbottom (managed).

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting