Dockers Unload Big Guns On Eagles

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Matthew Pavlich is fit after injury problems last season. Image courtesy of Images
Some teams have treated the NAB Challenge as little more than a glorified practice match, but the same can’t be said of West Australian rivals Fremantle and West Coast . Both outfits have named strong squads for Tuesday night’s pre-season clash in what it likely to be one of the better trials prior to the premiership season commencing.

The Eagles will be without injury-plagued backman Beau Waters, spring-heeled ruckman Nic Naitanui and midfield machine Andrew Gaff. Former Hawks premiership winner Xavier Ellis gets another crack at top level footy with West Coast and he will make his debut in the blue and yellow, while West Aussie Elliott Yeo returns home after two seasons with the Brisbane Lions.

Freo will have a couple of new faces, as well. Former Melbourne forward Colin Sylvia will have the opportunity to fulfil his undoubted potential under Ross Lyon while ex-Perth boy Scott Gumbleton is hopefully over his horrible run of injuries ahead of his debut in Dockers colours. Just six players from the grand final defeat are missing, with positive news for veterans Matthew Pavlich and Aaron Sandilands as they line up in their club’s opening hitout.

Fremantle has won the last three Western Derbies by 28 points or more. The Dockers have well and truly had the wood on their rival over the past eight seasons winning 12 of their last 16 battles.

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