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Saturday, May 12, 2018

Why the West Coast Eagles love Fraser McInnes

Coach Adam Simpson says there is a very good reason why Fraser McInnes is one of the most popular players at West Coast.
McInnes will play just his 12th game in seven seasons at the Eagles against Greater Western Sydney at Spotless Stadium tomorrow.
Nic Naitanui’s suspension opened the door but McInnes’ sustained run of form at East Perth meant there was little question about a replacement.
Simpson said he had read the play when Nathan Vardy went down with a groin injury late in the pre-season, throwing McInnes greater responsibility in the ruck at the Royals.
The 198cm 24-year-old is averaging more than 30 hit-outs at WAFL level this year.
“He’s in a good space, he’s been rucking a lot,” Simpson said.
“He is a much-loved player at the club because he does everything he possibly can to play AFL. He doesn’t get the same opportunities as others but his work rate and his consistent approach to being an elite footballer — I think every club has a player like that and he’s ours.”
Simpson conceded the West Coast midfield would have a significantly different look against the Giants, with Naitanui, Luke Shuey (hamstring) and Dom Sheed (foot) missing.
Brendon Ah Chee will make his debut for the club after 27 games with Port Adelaide. Ah Chee has managed three matches back at East Perth after he was derailed by an ankle injury late in the pre-season.
Simpson put his trust in Brayden Ainsworth to fill vice-captain Shuey’s boots.
He said he was excited to blood his sixth debutant of 2018.
Simpson said Ainsworth, 19, had earned his spot after averaging 24 disposals in four appearances for East Perth.
“Ainsworth is the classic kid who just eats, lives and breathes footy,” Simpson said.
“He just loves it. He has come a long way in a very short amount of time.
“Luke plays a role, he plays it very well and Ainsworth needs to come in and play that role.”
Jack Petruccelle was forced out with an ankle injury after an eye-catching first two games at AFL level.
The Giants made the big selection call to drop spearhead Jonathon Patton, with Dylan Buckley and Nick Shipley also axed.
They welcome back key pair Jeremy Cameron and Rory Lobb from injury, while defender Isaac Cumming is set to make his debut.
But Josh Kelly (groin), Brett Deledio (hamstring), Toby Greene (foot), Tom Scully (ankle) and Zac Williams (Achilles) remain on the sidelines.
“It’s going to be a massive challenge this week,” Simpson said. “They’ve still got some tremendous talent playing.”