AFL: The West Coast Eagles will be without Nic Naitanui, name three debutants

Three debutants and a 58th National Draft player will draft in the Eagles’ first round, writes MARK DUFFIELD.

The West Coast Eagles will feature three debutants in their season-opener game with North Melbourne at Marvel Stadium on Saturday, but gun ruckman Nic Naitanui will not be phased out alongside them.

The Eagles announced Tuesday on their club website that Campbell Chesser, Reuben Ginbey and Noah Long will all play against the Roos, along with former Melbourne player Jayden Hunt, who joined the Eagles after 114 games with the Demons .

Ginbey was seen as a suspension on his debut after a strong performance in the Eagles’ disappointing loss to Adelaide in their last practice game, and Chesser had played against Adelaide and Port in both practice games.

But small forward long is the bolter of the trio.

The 58th National Draft had impressed in match simulation, playing against Port Adelaide before being eliminated from the senior team against Adelaide.

Meanwhile, the Eagles took the step of knocking Naitanui out early despite strong mileage at two practice sessions in the past five days.

“Nic has been working diligently with our strength and conditioning team to get back playing as soon as possible and is making encouraging progress,” West Coast football manager Gavin Bell told the club’s website.

“When Nic returns, we want him to play with the same unique explosiveness and competitive power that we all know and admire from his game.

“While he continues his positive development, Nic will not be able to play North Melbourne in round one at Marvel Stadium this Saturday.”

This means West Coast will now be sweating over the availability of Bailey Williams, who withdrew late from the game against Adelaide with a strained hamstring.

Williams has since been absent from main group training drills, working with a rehab group.

If he doesn’t recover in time, Callum Jamieson will be left alone with a makeshift backup against the Kangaroos.

Mark Duffield

Markus DuffieldStaff writer

Mark Duffield has a career in journalism spanning more than 40 years, having joined the South West Times in 1982. As senior AFL writer at The West Australian, he was a five-time winner of the Geoff Christian Award for Outstanding AFL Reporting in WA. He received MEAA’s 2022 Clarion Award for Outstanding Contribution to Journalism in WA. He also spent five years covering AFL football in Melbourne as a football writer and was Melbourne Bureau chief of The West Australian in 1995. AFL: The West Coast Eagles will be without Nic Naitanui, name three debutants

Chris Estrada

Chris Estrada is a 24ssports U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Chris Estrada joined 24ssports in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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