The West

Simpson big on ruck rotation (The West)
Dean Cox and Scott Lycett. Pic: Sharon Smith/WA News

Adam Simpson said West Coast’s wealth of ruckmen means their big men will be rotated in and out of the line-up for the rest of the season, starting with tomorrow’s western derby.

Veteran Dean Cox has been recalled after a fortnight’s rest at the expense of an improving Scott Lycett, who is coming off his best two matches at AFL level.

Simpson said handling the club’s four ruckmen, including Callum Sinclair, was a management issue and flagged even Nic Naitanui would be dropped as part of the rotation over coming weeks.

“Cox has had two weeks’ break,” Simpson said.

“His body is ready to go.

“Scott’s played every week this year, but not every game at AFL. So had Cox two weeks ago and so has Nic.

“We need to manage the three of them. We want to give opportunity to Cal Sinclair as well at some stage.

“So we feel the best for this week is it’s Scott’s turn (to miss out) and it’s going to be Nic’s turn soon and then it’s going to be Coxy’s turn again at some stage.

“As long as their form warrants selection, we’ll manage them that way for the rest of the year.”

Cox’s spell out of the line-up has heightened speculation he may not play on beyond this season.

Simpson labelled the quandary of having multiple ruckmen of AFL standard as a “good problem” to have.

He said Lycett, who comes out of contract at the end of this year and has been forced to bide his time behind Cox and Naitanui, was an important player for the club.

“We’ve got big plans for him,” Simpson said.

“We want him as part of our club. He understands and hopefully I’ve explained it well enough.

“No one wants to sit aside, but he has played every game. His body needs to be managed just as much as the others.

“He’s 21. Hopefully it’s just part of his apprenticeship.

“We feel he’s a critical part of our future. Hopefully he’s not seeing this as a demotion.”

The West Australian

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