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West Coast Eagles

Oppo watch: Saints wary of key Eagles

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 07: Alan Richardson, Senior Coach of the Saints coach addresses the team at three quarter time break during the 2019 AFL round 03 match between the Fremantle Dockers and the St Kilda Saints at Optus Stadium on April 07, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Photos)
Will Alan Richardson bring Nathan Brown into the Saints' starting 22 this week?

St Kilda are considering recalling experienced defender Nathan Brown to combat two-time Coleman medallist Josh Kennedy at Marvel Stadium on Saturday night.

Saints senior coach Alan Richardson said the twin brother of former Eagle Mitch was in the mix for the round eight clash after missing last weekend’s stoush with Greater Western Sydney.

Richardson said St Kilda needed to consider its defensive options following back-to-back defeats to Adelaide and the Giants.

He was particularly concerned by his back six’s inability to shut down imposing key forwards Taylor Walker and Jeremy Cameron during those two losses.

Walker booted four goals against the Saints at Marvel Stadium, while Cameron bagged six of the best at Manuka Oval last weekend.

Kennedy kicked six goals the last time the two sides met in round 11, 2018 at Optus Stadium.

“We’ve been beaten pretty badly two weeks in a row by key forwards, Walker two weeks ago and now Cameron. We think Brown, he’ll need to train well and get through, but he’s right in the mix,” Richardson said today.

“He’s done a pretty good job for us (on big forwards) before.”

Richardson said St Kilda would not take West Coast lightly despite the Eagles’ up-and-down start to the year.

He said they were preparing for the reigning premiers to play to their potential on Saturday night.

“Their best footy has still been good, so that’s what we’re focused on,” Richardson said.

“We’re focused on how powerful they are through the middle of the ground. Their system is hard to get through defensively with (Jeremy) McGovern and these sorts of guys.

"They mark the ball as much as anyone in the back half, which has also been a bit of a challenge for us in recent times.

“Kennedy, (Jack) Darling and that combination forward is a real challenge for any team if you don’t get pressure on.

“We’re focused on their best and their best has still been strong.”