Coach backs Colledge s rare skill
Coach backs Colledge's rare skill

Youngster Brant Colledge will be the fifth player to debut for West Coast this season after being named to face St Kilda at Patersons Stadium tomorrow.

The 19-year-old was the only change to the team which belted Melbourne by 93 points last Sunday, coming in at the expense of Shannon Hurn, who is expected to be sidelined for six weeks with a medial ligament strain.

The Saints made one change, with Dylan Roberton dropped for Jimmy Webster.

Colledge travelled east with the Eagles as an emergency last week after a strong pre-season and a best-on-ground effort for East Perth in their round-one WAFL win over Peel Thunder.

He will be the fifth new face to play for the Eagles in the opening three rounds, following Xavier Ellis, Elliot Yeo, Jamie Bennell and Dom Sheed.

Under new coach Adam Simpson the Eagles have been focused on creating greater flexibility.

Simpson said Colledge's work both through the middle and in the forward line was exactly what the Eagles were looking for.

"His impact on-ball has been really good and he has managed to kick a couple of goals every game that he has played," he said.

"That is a rare skill to have, to have impact midfield and still have some scoreboard presence."

St Kilda have selected just one specialist ruckman despite bringing back-up big man Billy Longer to Perth as an emergency.

The Eagles have again chosen three ruckmen, with six-times All-Australian Dean Cox, Nic Naitanui and Callum Sinclair in the team.

But St Kilda have decided to stick with in-form Tom Hickey and use Rhys Stanley in support.

Hickey hurt a toe in the win over Greater Western Sydney, but coach Alan Richardson was confident he would train today so they could stick with the formula that had proved successful.

"They've been going pretty well," Richardson said of Hickey and Stanley.

"We've been really pleased with our ruckwork … we know Cox and Naitanui present some problems."

New faces 5 The number of players who have played their first games for West Coast so far this season

The West Australian

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