Bombers to unveil top three AFL recruits

Roger Vaughan Roar Guru

By Roger Vaughan,


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    Essendon’s top three AFL recruits and a near-premiership Richmond line-up highlight selections for their pre-season match in Wangaratta.

    The Bombers have named Jake Stringer, Devon Smith and Adam Saad in their squad of 30 for Saturday’s pre-season opener, with four to be cut on game day.

    Brownlow Medallist Dustin Martin is in the Richmond squad, with Dean Rioli, Nathan Broad and Dion Prestia the only members of Richmond’s premiership team missing.

    While Stringer was named on Essendon’s extended bench, coach John Worsfold indicated the former Western Bulldog star would play.

    Worsfold seemed to be referring to Stringer’s new blond hairstyle when he predicted the utility would make an immediate impact.

    “Look out for Jake Stringer – you won’t miss him when he runs out,” Worsfold told the club website.

    “I will just put that out there. He has done some preparation in terms of getting ready for the game.

    Tom Bellchambers, Cale Hooker, Michael Hurley, Orazio Fantasia, David Myers are among the players missing from the Bombers’ squad.

    Adelaide have picked former Carlton star Bryce Gibbs for Saturday’s Strathalbyn match against Fremantle.

    With Taylor Walker and Rory Sloane not playing, Rory Atkins will captain the Crows.

    Dockers defender Alex Pearce was selected for his first AFL-level game since badly breaking his leg two seasons ago in round nine.

    Nat Fyfe and Aaron Sandilands headline the Dockers’ squad.

    While Tom Rockliff will not play for Port Adelaide against West Coast on Sunday in Perth, their squad features fellow top recruits Jack Watts, Steven Motlop, Trent McKenzie and Lindsay Thomas.

    Port star Robbie Gray was named after recovering from off-season treatment for testicular cancer.

    Another notable name in the weekend squads is Jake Lever, having left Adelaide in controversial circumstances.

    He will play for Melbourne in Saturday’s Hobart match against North Melbourne, who have named former Hawthorn speedster Billy Hartung.

    Meanwhile, GWS have included stars such as Josh Kelly, Jeremy Cameron, Jon Patton, Callan Ward and Stephen Coniglio in their squad for Friday afternoon’s practice match against Sydney in Marrickville.

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