Wardlaw back, Kangaroos look to maintain improved form

North Melbourne will regain boom youngster George Wardlaw against AFL leaders Sydney as the Kangaroos attempt to maintain their purple patch.

Wardlaw, 20, has missed North’s last two games through a concussion suffered at training but will be ready to go for Saturday's game at the SCG.

“We’re hoping it’s (the break) a blessing in disguise, really," coach Alastair Clarkson said. 

"When players are available to play they just keep playing, but sometimes young players, it’s good for them to have a break.

"Sometimes a break can be the best thing for them. Hopefully, (Wardlaw) has got seven games to go and can really see the season out strongly.”

Griffin Logue, who has recovered from his ACL tear, was overlooked for his first senior game this year and is set to feature in the VFL again, while Zac Fisher (foot) will miss again.

The Swans have regained skipper Callum Mills (shoulder/calf) for his first AFL match of the year.

Clarkson noted Sydney losing their last two games, against Fremantle and St Kilda, made them arguably even more dangerous.

But he has relished North’s recent resurgence.

The Kangaroos have won two of their last five games, while also losing two games by less than a goal.

Clarkson played down the influence of a candid chat with his players about his own personal struggles on North's uptick in form.

“I don’t think it’s got anything to do with me in terms of where our form line has been over the last little while,” he said, instead citing improved defending across the ground.

But he stressed the importance of having empathy with young players trying to establish themselves.

“There’s a lot of pressure in the game, and these are just young men, particularly at our club we’ve got the youngest list in the competition," Clarkson said.

“We need to have empathy for the challenges they are going through, 18 to 22 years of age in particular is a hard path to navigate, whether you’re playing AFL footy or not.

“But it just compounds and complicates it even more when you are playing AFL footy and expected to be at your best in every facet of your life.

"So those challenges you confront with the game, but our boys have handled themselves pretty well in that space."

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