The West

Clarke unlikely for Dockers return
Clarke unlikely for Dockers return

Fremantle coach Ross Lyon says ruckman Zac Clarke is unlikely to return for Saturday night's AFL clash with Gold Coast at Patersons Stadium.

Clarke's pre-season campaign was derailed by a knee injury, but the talented big man made an impressive return for WAFL side Peel Thunder last week.

Back-up ruckman Jack Hannath tallied just three possessions and seven hit-outs in Fremantle's 70-point thrashing of Collingwood a fortnight ago.

Although Clarke is Fremantle's preferred choice as back-up to Aaron Sandilands, Lyon said the 23-year-old was unlikely to replace Hannath this week.

"I think the incumbents have got the advantage," Lyon said.

"At the end of the day, Zac's got to try to force his way in.

"No one's knocked on my office in the 22 and said, 'Look, I'm happy to give my spot up for Zac'.

"So Zac's got a bit of work to do."

Gold Coast speedster Harley Bennell has been ruled out due to a calf issue.

The Suns opened their season with a win over Richmond, but they'll face a tough task to topple Fremantle on their home turf.

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