Injury Plagued Doggies Let Off The Leash

Image courtesy of heraldsun.com.au/Michael Klein
A back complaint has ruled Bulldogs captain Ryan Griffen out of the NAB Challenge. Image courtesy of the heraldsun.com.au/Michael Klein

Unlucky ‘Dogs’ Shaun Higgins and Tom Williams will return to the AFL stage when the Western Bulldogs face grand-finalists Fremantle in week two of the NAB Challenge at Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night. Higgins hasn’t played since a foot fracture in round three last season. The 25-year-old is likely to resume on the wing or even in defence, as Bulldogs coach Brendan McCartney looks to re-ignite Higgins' career.

After making just five senior appearances in two years, Williams is desperate to put his injury-dramas behind him. Williams has been training with the forward group through the pre-season, as the Dogs tinker with their attacking set-up. The 27-year-old joins Liam Jones and Daniel Giansiricusa, who will play their first games of the year, as well as star recruit Stewart Crameri, in a new-look forward line. Battling a back complaint, captain Ryan Griffen will sit out the trial.

The Dockers are looking for an improved performance in game two of the pre-season comp after being hammered by 84-points by West Coast in the opening round. Senior player, Matthew Pavlich, admits Freo didn’t bring the right attitude and intensity to the Eagles' match and that’s unacceptable heading into the new season. Still in heavy training, the Dockers have added key players Ryan Crowley, Chris Mayne and Clancee Pearce for the clash with the Dogs, who beat St Kilda by 11-points last Wednesday.

Click here to bet on NAB Challenge matches