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Buddy next test for West Coast
Buddy next test for West Coast

West Coast's defence will get a legitimate test of its improvement over the pre-season when Sydney unleash prize recruit Lance Franklin for the first time.

Franklin, 27, has been confirmed as a starter for Thursday's NAB Challenge clash between the two sides at Blacktown International Sportspark, a contest where the premiership fancies also are expected to roll out Lewis Jetta and Lewis Roberts-Thomson.

The Eagles will head east full of confidence after Tuesday's 84-point thumping of Fremantle.

However, coach Adam Simpson has flagged resting several experienced players, with his side coming up against a Swans outfit that also looked sharp in its 40-point win over Greater Western Sydney on Thursday night.

"We can't play our boys every week," Simpson said.

"It's about round one. We'll look at opportunities of maybe resting a few guys for Sydney.

"It's in Blacktown, so it's a bit of a drive and flight. We need to progress them in the right way."

Senior midfielder Matt Priddis, one of West Coast's best in their demolition job on the Dockers, was not sighted at training yesterday and is likely to be among those rested.

Wingman Andrew Gaff sat out the club's first pre-season match after surgery to fix a tooth infection, but is expected to play his first game of 2014 against the Swans.

Franklin's first hit-out for Sydney has been delayed after the dual premiership forward's limited pre-season. Key defender Eric Mackenzie looms as the player to line up on Franklin.

Meanwhile, the Eagles are expected to decide shortly whether Beau Waters will be sent for surgery on his right shoulder.