Eagles ring changes for Lions clash
Eagles ring changes for Lions clash

West Coast ruckman Dean Cox will head back to the sidelines for another week after being withdrawn from the side to face Brisbane on Saturday with soreness.

Cox was one of five changes made by coach Adam Simpson, who brought Nic Naitanui, Callum Sinclair, Simon Tunbridge, Ash Smith and Dom Sheed into the side.

West Coast had to overlook Josh Kennedy (suspension) and Matt Rosa (injury) but both Jamie Cripps, Sharrod Wellingham were omitted

Coach Adam Simpson sent a clear message "have a crack" to his maligned midfield as he prepared to fly out with a young team this weekend.

Simpson, who also promised to play some youth off a six day break this week, said he was not concerned about criticism of his midfield for being small and slow provided they brought effort to the field each week.

“The biggest thing I am looking for in our midfield and with anyone who plays in our side is competitive instinct,” he said.

“The size, the shape and the legs I think is secondary. I want mids who have a crack and put their head over the ball. You can manage as a player being a bit shorter and a bit slower if you can win your own ball, especially inside mids.”

“It is a six day break and we are going to go in with a pretty young side. We are going to see what a couple of players can do who have been playing at east Perth. We are excited about what we might see this week,” Simpson said.

“It is a really good opportunity to see how we go with a couple of different personnel in there, albeit we haven’t got a heap of depth in our midfield at the moment with the injuries we have got but we will try a few different things this week.”

“We had a good win at East Perth and we had 10 or 12 senior guys playing. We lost (Brant) Colledge to an ankle injury – he is out for three to four weeks but we saw some good performances from players. There will be up to five changes this week.”

Naitanui was over soreness that sidelined him last weekend, he said.

“He trained well today. It is pointing towards him playing isn’t it, if he is on the plane.”

Brisbane made one change, with Mitch Golby replacing the suspended Tom Rockliff.

The West Australian

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