Latest News

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Fraser McInnes set for West Coast Eagles rookie-list lifeline

West Coast are poised to hand Fraser McInnes another lifeline on the rookie list as the versatile tall eyes playing his biggest role yet for the Eagles next season in their premiership defence.
Nic Naitanui’s second long-term knee injury has temporarily depleted the club’s ruck stocks, which were reshuffled during the trade period when free agent Scott Lycett left for Port Adelaide and St Kilda’s Tom Hickey was brought in as a replacement.
The Eagles’ ruck depth chart was trimmed yesterday when project player Tony Olango was axed after just one season on the rookie list. Luke Partington, Malcolm Karpany and rookies Ryan Burrows, Callan England and Tarir Bayok were also de-listed.
The West Australian understands out-of-contract midfielder Brendon Ah Chee has been offered a new deal, while versatile tall Matthew Allen is also likely to be retained next year.
Premiership player Mark Hutchings, who kept Brownlow Medal runner-up Steele Sidebottom quiet in last month’s thrilling grand final win over Collingwood, has triggered a clause in his contract to play on.
Hickey, 27, is most likely to lead the ruck in tandem with Nathan Vardy.
McInnes is highly regarded by his teammates as a great clubman but has struggled for opportunities at the top level, playing only 14 senior matches sporadically over seven seasons since being drafted in 2011.
The 25-year-old played three games in 2018 and struggled with groin issues in the latter stages.
“Fraser is looking more than likely at the moment to stay on our (rookie) list,” Eagles list manager Brady Rawlings said.
“He had a tremendous season in the WAFL. No one works harder at our club and he’s really respected among the group.”
Rawlings said West Coast would consider bringing in more mature-age ruck talent and had not ruled out a move for former Fremantle ruckman Zac Clarke, who played a key role in Subiaco’s WAFL premiership-winning team this year.
It is understood Clarke has attracted interest from several clubs. The Eagles could also pick up young talls through the national and rookie drafts.
“We certainly need to consider whether we go with one more, whether that be at draft time or rookie draft, given that Nic is starting the season injured,” Rawlings said.
West Coast remain hopeful of regaining Naitanui towards the business end of next year.
Big man Luke Strnadica joined Tommy Sheridan, Brady Grey and Cam Sutcliffe as Fremantle de-listings yesterday. The Dockers have committed to Ethan Hughes, Ryan Nyhuis and Stefan Giro on one-year deals.


« PREV
NEXT »