Rucks give Eagles a headache
Rucks give Eagles a headache

West Coast will come under increasing pressure to keep playing Scott Lycett, with the South Australian ruckman coming out of contract later this year.

The promoted rookie played his first game for the year in Saturday's thrashing by Geelong.

He managed a modest 11 disposals, 11 hit-outs and two marks against the Cats, leaving selectors with the tough call on whether to retain him for this Saturday night's clash with Port Adelaide at Patersons Stadium.

Lycett, 21, will be desperate to play against Port, who overlooked him in the 2010 national draft when he was instead taken by West Coast at pick No.29.

Both the Power and Adelaide could be in the market for ruckmen at the end of this year.

Matthew Lobbe is Port's No.1 ruckman, but they may need to find a replacement for the ageing Brent Renouf.

The Crows are also lacking a good secondary tall to back up Sam Jacobs.

A homecoming with a guarantee of regular AFL matches would be a tempting offer for Lycett, who played six SANFL matches for the Port Adelaide Magpies the year he was drafted.

West Coast selected Callum Sinclair as a third ruckman to start the year, but rested the upgraded rookie from all forms of football last weekend to give Lycett a chance.

Sinclair's name will be discussed at the selection table again this week after he trained freely yesterday.

However, team officials will be mindful of sending the right messages to Lycett, who has played just 11 AFL matches despite being in his fourth AFL season.

West Coast want to retain both Sinclair and Lycett on their list given veteran Dean Cox is tipped to retire at the end of next year.

Concerns surrounding Nic Naitanui, who was restricted to handball drills and stationary tap work at training yesterday, have added to the quandary. He did not jump or run before leaving Patersons Stadium.

Eagles coach Adam Simpson said Lycett had been promoted last week for a few reasons.

"We thought Sinclair had been reasonable, but we thought Lycett had been exceptional at East Perth," he said.

"He definitely earned his spot. We didn't play Sinclair back at East Perth. We're trying to manage his body as well. It's a long season and we thought that we'd take the opportune time to get his body right and give Scotty a good crack at it."

Matt Rosa (illness) ran strongly yesterday and is certain to return against Port, with Luke Shuey, who has served his one-match suspension. Darren Glass (hip) and Chris Masten (hamstring) only took part in handball drills, but are strong chances to play.

The West Australian

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