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Jarrod Brander and Willie Rioli celebrate a goal on Sunday

Jarrod Brander and Willie Rioli celebrate a goal on Sunday

Willie Rioli reckons West Coast’s young forward line has the potential to strike fear into opponents if it fires on all cylinders.

Eagles’ fans got a glimpse into the future when the likes of Rioli, Liam Ryan, Jarrod Brander and Jake Waterman spearheaded the club’s attack during Sunday’s practice derby against Fremantle at Lathlain Oval.

The quartet held their own against the Dockers’ experienced back line and combined for six of West Coast’s nine goals.

“I reckon our forward formation this year is something that the opposition will hopefully fear,” Rioli said post-match.

“Our connections and vibe around the forward line is definitely building and hopefully we can have six dangerous forwards. That’s something we look forward to bringing.”

Rioli said he was particularly impressed with Waterman’s practice match performance.

The 19-year-old amassed 14 disposals, eight marks and two goals at the Eagles’ burgeoning new headquarters.

However, Rioli said it was Waterman’s ability to open up the game via his work rate that made him a special player.

“He’s one of those natural forwards. He’s got a big tank and he’s a natural runner,” he said.

“With him working out into space, it just opens up space for me and Liam.”

Touching on his budding partnership with Ryan, Rioli said he fed off the 2017 Bernie Naylor medallist's energy.

He hoped the duo would get more opportunities to play together and develop their chemistry not only with each other, but the rest of West Coast’s attacking unit.

“Having Liam with me up forward definitely helps,” Rioli said.

“He takes pressure off me by playing his role because he is dangerous as well. Hopefully we can get something going connection-wise in the forward line and bring some spark and some excitement to the forward line.”

Rioli finished his first full-length outing in blue and gold with 11 disposals, four marks, four effective tackles and two goals.

The Tiwi Islands product was content with getting through the contest unscathed after he tweaked his left knee during an AFLX outing against Adelaide three weeks ago.

“It’s my first full game and I learned a lot,” Rioli said.

“To get out there and learn all the structures was great. I had all the senior boys talking to me and directing me.

“Now I’m just focused on getting through the training week and putting my hand up for selection for next Sunday’s JLT game against Freo.”