West Coast stars Nic Naitanui and Jeremy McGovern will play against the Western Bulldogs at Metricon Stadium tomorrow night, but premiership captain Shannon Hurn has been rested.
McGovern was in doubt with an ankle injury but he got through training today and has proven his fitness.
The Eagles were considering resting Naitanui given the compressed fixture and the risk of injury, but they were able to manage his game time against Essendon on Tuesday night and allow him to play against the Dogs.
Hurn has been rested as the oldest Eagle to have played every game this season. He turned 33 yesterday and the Eagles are wary about pushing their older players too hard at this stage of the season.
West Coast had already lost captain Luke Shuey to a hamstring injury from the win over Essendon, but Coleman medallist Josh Kennedy will play after recovering from concussion. Kennedy didn’t play against the Bombers.
The Eagles dropped young ruckman Bailey Williams and recalled Jake Waterman and Brayden Ainsworth.
Waterman is set to play as a forward which will allow Oscar Allen to return to his role as the back up ruckman.
West Coast will have a massive advantage in the ruck and Naitanui’s brilliance will help to offset the absence of Shuey and Elliot Yeo.
The Bulldogs lost premiership captain Easton Wood and youngster Laitham Vandermeer to injury while Tory Dickson was dropped.
Roake Smith, Sam Lloyd and Zaine Cordy were brought back into the team.
The Dogs have had nine days to recover from their loss to Geelong and should be fresh given West Coast are coming off a five-day break.
West Coast are fifth on the ladder and need to win to stay in touch with the top four. The Bulldogs are 10th and are sitting one game outside of the eight.