Wellingham makes instant impact
Sharrod Wellingham in action at Patersons Stadium on Saturday night. Pic: Getty Images

West Coast coach John Worsfold has sung the praises of high-profile recruit Sharrod Wellingham, saying the Collingwood premiership player showed why the Eagles snared him with his first-up display in the NAB Cup on Saturday night.

The Eagles gave up pick 17 to lure Wellingham home to Perth to boost an already potent midfield.

Wellingham sat out game one against Geelong before being unveiled against arch rivals Fremantle in game three at Patersons Stadium on Saturday night.

The 24-year-old was influential with eight disposals, two clearances and three tackles in the 24-point win.

"(It was a) short hit-out for him but he showed why we picked him," Worsfold said. "We know why we've got him here and what role he's going to play and he did it well."

Worsfold said the club would not have a competitive hit-out next week before taking on Collingwood in NAB Cup round two on March 3.

He said the players would also have a break the week of the NAB Cup grand final if they did not qualify for it, meaning they would have just two more games before the round-one western derby on March 23

"We are comfortable with that," Worsfold said. "We elected not to take up an option to have an extra game."

Sam Butler, Josh Kennedy, Beau Waters, Dean Cox and Matt Rosa all sat out Saturday night and would need match fitness, Worsfold said.

West Coast made six changes for game two, using 29 players in the two matches.

In contrast, Fremantle made just two changes in the second game, with Aaron Sandilands (glute) and Chris Mayne (ankle) forced out through injury. They used 26 players on the night.

Midfielder Matt de Boer said the coaching and fitness staff were keen to get as much game time as possible into the legs of first-choice players ahead of the derby.

The Dockers will travel to Adelaide this weekend for a practice match against the Crows before their round-two NAB Cup game meeting with Carlton.

Dockers coach Ross Lyon said Sandilands and Luke McPharlin would be held back from the practice match, but he would otherwise have a close to full-strength side.


The West Australian

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