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Dockers debut two, Duggan set for return

West Coast Eagles premiership defender Liam Duggan is set to return from a knee injury for Sunday's blockbuster clash against Richmond, named in the extended squad on Thursday.

Duggan is joined by premiership team mate Josh Kennedy and young guns Oscar Allen and Jarrod Brander in the side, Brad Sheppard (concussion) and Bailey Williams (hamstring) ruled out from last week's win over the Blues.

Ruckman Nathan Vardy looms as a possible replacement for Williams, having had 13 disposals and 25 hitouts in the WAFL last weekend.

Richmond midfielder Dion Prestia has been named despite being subbed out of last week's win over Essendon with a hamstring complaint, triple premiership player Kane Lambert back for his first game since round six.

Ben Miller, Will Martyn and Hugo Ralphsmith have been named on an extended bench, with Ryan Collier-Dawkins omitted.

Duggan confirmed to Sports Breakfast on Thursday morning that he was a likely inclusion for the clash with the Tigers.

"The knee is feeling good. We've been able to ramp up training pretty rapidly in the last week," he said.

"It's come on quite quick and is responding well. I could be available for selection if all goes well."

Meanwhile across town Fremantle will hand debuts to youngsters Joel Western and Brandon Walker, both players having been selected in the 2020 AFL Draft having previously been members of the Dockers Next Generation Academy.

Western has been pushing his case at WAFL level for a number of weeks, averaging 16 disposals and a goal a game.

Walker's pre-season was blighted by injury, but has found his feet in the last month at league level with Peel Thunder, averaging 13 disposals playing as a half back.

Joining Western and Walker in the side are Brett Bewley, defender Alex Pearce and defender Reece Conca, the latter playing his 150th game at AFL level.

Brennan Cox (hamstring), Nat Fyfe (shoulder), Griffin Logue (concussion) and Nathan Wilson (suspended) also miss the match, Sean Darcy named despite failing to finish the match against the Bulldogs with a hamstring injury.

Utility Connor Blakely and last week's medical substitute Tobe Watson have been omitted, joining Stefan Giro and Lloyd Meek on the emergencies list.

Gold Coast welcome back young gun and number one draft pick Matt Rowell for his first game since round one, having recovered from a PCL injury sustained against West Coast at Optus Stadium.

Jack Bowes also returns, with Jy Farrar and former Crow Rory Atkins both omitted.

Fremantle young gun Caleb Serong said while it would be hard to fill the void left by their skipper's shoulder injury, the team was confident of playing their best football against the Suns.

" I dont think anyone can play the role Nat Fyfe has, he's just been an absolute beast on the inside," Serong said on Sports Breakfast.

"All of us in the midfield will be looking to take that extra bit of responsibility with him out. It's a big gap to fill but we feel like we play a good system through the midfield. We are really relying on a lot of balance and connection between each other.

"Hopefully we can take a bit of responsibility each and have a really strong effort against a strong Suns midfield this week.

IMAGE: Fremantle FC.


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