Wellingham cops a rocket
Wellingham cops a rocket

Sharrod Wellingham has got a late reprieve and a rocket from his coach ahead of today's clash with Gold Coast at Patersons Stadium.

Wellingham, dropped for the second time this year on Thursday, was recalled yesterday after Scott Selwood withdrew with an ankle injury.

Key forward Josh Kennedy will be the first of at least four prospective captains on trial to succeed Darren Glass when he leads the Eagles against the Suns, while Gold Coast coach Guy McKenna warned his players to brace for an onslaught in Glass' honour.

Kennedy, Matt Priddis, Selwood and Shannon Hurn are the likely contenders in a captaincy rotation the Eagles will run between now and the end of the season, Eagles coach Adam Simpson said yesterday.

Wellingham was originally dropped for the second time this year after being used as a substitute against the Hawks last week.

"We have got a few players at the moment who are playing, not at their full capacity," Simpson said. "He is one of them. We have got to set some standards and there are some guys playing well at East Perth as well. It is nothing to do with anything other than performance. He was a sub at the weekend and you can't do much at three-quarter time when you are eight goals down.

"The week before he was poor. It has been a build up over a few weeks. I am not writing him off. It is just part of his learning."

Simpson said Wellingham had to "perform consistently in all areas".

"He is a player who has been around for a long time, a premiership player at Collingwood. There are standards that we all set ourselves so he has got to get to those standards," he said.

With Selwood out, Simpson must find an opponent for Gary Ablett. He said Ablett had to be nullified because he couldn't be completely stopped.

"If you can stop him from having 45 possessions and kicking four I think that is the goal. I don't think you can stop him from having his 25 to 30 and having an impact so we will try and nullify him as best we can," he said.

McKenna said the Eagles wanted to send off Glass, a "great warrior", in the right fashion.

"Boys, just brace yourself, it's going to be on," he said of a warning he gave his players.

"When there's a contest to be won we've got to win it first before West Coast do it.

"They're going to be hard, we've just got to match them."

With Dean Cox being rested, the Eagles will head into a match without a 2006 premiership player for the first time since they won the flag against Sydney.

Simpson said a decision on the captain would probably be left until the end of the season.

The new captain needed to be comfortable with the extra demands of the job.

The West Australian

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