Swans’ Richards set for Franklin in AFL
Talk of Lance Franklin’s availability for Hawthorn this weekend doesn’t concern Sydney defender Ted Richards who is preparing to face the Hawks’ superstar regardless of what anybody says.
Competition leaders Sydney take on the Hawks at the SCG on Saturday in a top-of-the-table AFL clash which has already sold out.
Franklin has been sidelined for six matches with what is believed to be a hamstring injury.
He was poised to return against Gold Coast on Sunday, but was a late withdrawal after he fell ill the night before.
The Hawthorn camp say they are confident he will make a return.
Richards was asked on Monday if he was preparing to line up against Franklin.
“Oh yeah … for sure. I played on him last time and I played on him last year as well. He’s an incredible player, so I’ll be doing my homework on him,” Richards said.
“If he’s playing, he’s playing. Either way, I’ve got a pretty big job ahead of me but that’s something for them to work out.”
Sydney are coming off a crushing 82-point victory over the Western Bulldogs while Hawthorn had a comfortable win over the Suns.
One player who Richards doesn’t expect to play is Swans’ midfield warrior Jude Bolton, who has missed the past two games with a knee injury.
There has been talk Bolton could return earlier than expected and take on the Hawks.
“If you ask Jude … Jude’s fine but realistically I shouldn’t imagine he would be right for this week. I think it’s at least one more (week),” he said.
There’s some good news on the injury front for the Swans with ruckman Mike Pyke, who hurt his ankle in the win over the Bulldogs, expected to play.
The former Canadian rugby union international kicked three goals on the weekend and nobody is more pleased to see Pyke have success than Richards.
“I think he’s had four years in the AFL now. He’s done a lot of hard work on his game,” Richards said.
“He’s been out on the training track working on all aspects of his game and I think it’s only in the last months that he’s getting a lot of reward.
“He had a small little roll of his ankle on the weekend but he’ll be right for this weekend I’m pretty sure.”© AAP 2013