Cats rest star trio in selection gamble for Suns test

Geelong have left out 840 games of AFL experience in a selection gamble for their clash with Gold Coast in Darwin after opting to rest premiership stars Tom Hawkins, Mitch Duncan and Rhys Stanley.

The trio did not travel with the Cats' squad this week, joining fellow veteran Jeremy Cameron (concussion) on the sidelines as coach Chris Scott attempts to negotiate a six-day break between matches.

Scott's "complicated" selection call comes with Geelong on a two-match losing skid heading into the Suns encounter at TIO Stadium on Thursday night.

"You can't satisfy every requirement every single week, but as a guide we try not to get too beholden to the opposition we're playing," Scott told reporters on Wednesday.

"We do think a little bit about the length of break and the venue and those sorts of things, but the overwhelming priority is to look at it at the individual level.

"Tom Hawkins, Mitch Duncan and Rhys Stanley, I'm loath to say 'at their age' because their age is not necessarily the deciding factor.

"It's more just how we think about their season overall."

Scott first publicly flagged a rest for Hawkins in the immediate aftermath of last Friday night's home defeat to Port Adelaide.

Fellow key forward Cameron was put in concussion protocols the following day after he experienced delayed symptoms from hitting his head in a heavy fall from a marking contest

Scott admitted it prompted a brief reconsideration of the plan to rest Hawkins, who is now poised to break long-time teammate Joel Selwood's record for games played for Geelong in a home clash with Greater Western Sydney next week.

Six-game forward Shannon Neale, a 203cm prospect, has been recalled to provide a tall target in the Cats' forward line against Gold Coast after kicking three goals in a win over North Melbourne in his only previous senior appearance this season.

Shannon Neale.
Shannon Neale has been recalled to provide a tall target in the Cats' forward line.

Three-game ruckman Toby Conway, Jack Bowes and Tanner Bruhn have also been included.

"In the end, our medium-term planning overrode that potential need to get Tom into the team," Scott said.

"Shannon Neale's someone we've been trying to get into the team for a while.

"He came in against North Melbourne and played really well - well enough to hold his spot - but Hawkins came back the next week.

"So we think we've got a good 'in' there and it gives us a chance to give a little bit of a different look in the conditions.

"We rarely play in this heat, but we do play in slippery conditions, so that was something that factored into our thinking."

Gold Coast have also gone down the player management path, resting co-captain Jarrod Witts, Nick Holman, Jed Walter and Jake Rogers.

Veteran midfielder David Swallow and Brayden Fiorini return after a week off, with Sam Day and young ruckman Ned Moyle also recalled.

The Suns have spent the week in Darwin preparing for the Geelong clash after thrashing North Melbourne at TIO Stadium last week.

It was Gold Coast's fifth game in two years at a venue renowned for its slippery conditions, and wingman Sam Clohesy said that experience would benefit his side.

"It's definitely an advantage ... just being able to run out a full game in this heat," Clohesy said.

"It's nothing like playing down in Melbourne or, really, playing on the Gold Coast.

"I think we're going to use it as an edge against them."

License this article

What is AAPNews?

For the first time, Australian Associated Press is delivering news straight to the consumer.

No ads. No spin. News straight-up.

Not only do you get to enjoy high-quality news delivered straight to your desktop or device, you do so in the knowledge you are supporting media diversity in Australia.

AAP Is Australia’s only independent newswire service, free from political and commercial influence, producing fact-based public interest journalism across a range of topics including politics, courts, sport, finance and entertainment.

What is AAPNews?
The Morning Wire

Wake up to AAPNews’ morning news bulletin delivered straight to your inbox or mobile device, bringing you up to speed with all that has happened overnight at home and abroad, as well as setting you up what the day has in store.

AAPNews Morning Wire
AAPNews Breaking News
Breaking News

Be the first to know when major breaking news happens.

Notifications will be sent to your device whenever a big story breaks, ensuring you are never in the dark when the talking points happen.

Focused Content

Enjoy the best of AAP’s specialised Topics in Focus. AAP has reporters dedicated to bringing you hard news and feature content across a range of specialised topics including Environment, Agriculture, Future Economies, Arts and Refugee Issues.

AAPNews Focussed Content
Subscription Plans

Choose the plan that best fits your needs. AAPNews offers two basic subscriptions, all billed monthly.

Once you sign up, you will have seven days to test out the service before being billed.

AAPNews Full Access Plan
Full Access
  • Enjoy all that AAPNews has to offer
  • Access to breaking news notifications and bulletins
  • Includes access to all AAPNews’ specialised topics
Join Now
AAPNews Student Access Plan
Student Access
  • Gain access via a verified student email account
  • Enjoy all the benefits of the ‘Full Access’ plan at a reduced rate
  • Subscription renews each month
Join Now
AAPNews Annual Access Plan
Annual Access
  • All the benefits of the 'Full Access' subscription at a discounted rate
  • Subscription automatically renews after 12 months
Join Now

AAPNews also offers enterprise deals for businesses so you can provide an AAPNews account for your team, organisation or customers. Click here to contact AAP to sign-up your business today.

Download the app
Download AAPNews on the App StoreDownload AAPNews on the Google Play Store