Senior coach Adam Simpson says West Coast’s youngsters are looking forward to stepping onto the MCG ahead of a tough challenge against Richmond.

The Eagles will field a team blended with experience and youth – and another debutant - after rookie Zane Trew was named for his first game.

It will also be the first matches at the ‘G for last year’s draftees Brady Hough and Rhett Bazzo, while star ruckman Nic Naitanui returns from a long-term knee injury.

Simpson said the Eagles are better prepared to face the Tigers than the teams’ round nine clash at Optus Stadium, when Richmond ran out 109-point winners.

“We’re getting more settled. We’re getting our players back. They’ve gotten better since we played them last. They’re playing their brand better that they were before, but so are we,” Simpson said.

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Simpson press conference 30.06.21

West coast coach Adam Simpson speaks to the media ahead of their round 16 match against Richmond.

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“We have got a senior side, but for those young guys, it will be special. We’ve been really blessed with Optus Stadium but a full MCG is something very special.”

The trip to the MCG will also hold significance for four-time leading goalkicker, All-Australian and premiership player Jack Darling, who will play his 250th game this weekend.

“He’s done it quicker than anyone at our club. What he’s done, he’s had to build a pre-season on the run. He’s copped criticism but his last couple of weeks and his whole career, he’s been so reliable for us,” Simpson said.

“He’s top five at least (among forwards in the club’s history). Could be another 100 games for him.

“We’re a better team with him in it. He’s a small key forward that very rarely gets beaten one on one.”

Seasoned players Jeremy McGovern (ribs) and Dom Sheed (leg) will remain out of the side this week due to injuries, but haven’t been ruled out for the season and the Eagles are focusing on getting as much as possible out of the rest of 2022.

“It’s more about our journey. How we’re growing. But being out of contention, your motivation turns to development, growth, synergy and system,” Simpson said.

“We have talked about small wins, and we got a win last week (against Essendon).”