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West Coast Eagles

Team announcement: Selection surprise

Captain Shannon Hurn, in arguably the best form of his career, was confirmed as an omission for the West Coast Eagles’ Sydney mission when the match committee settled on its 26-man squad this afternoon.

The surprise came with the exclusion of young star Oscar Allen, who was left out because of an ankle injury.

Click here to view our 26-man squad

Hurn (hamstring) and Allen will both remain in Perth when the squad travels to the harbour city while the match committee will sleep on the composition of the travelling party.

At this stage, the inclusions are ruckman Tom Hickey, defenders Josh Rotham and Jackson Nelson, young forward Jarrod Cameron and midfielders Josh Smith and Brendon Ah Chee.

At least three of those players are expected to make the trip – two as inclusions and one as the emergency – but at this stage they have all been named on an extended bench.

Senior coach Adam Simpson travelled early to Sydney to meet a club commitment and in his stead assistant coach Jaymie Graham addressed the media. Not surprisingly he listed Nelson and Rotham as the most likely to replace Hurn.

Both have done little wrong when given their opportunity this season, Nelson most recently playing his role against Adelaide a fortnight ago, before making way for the return of Lewis Jetta last week.

Rotham made his debut against Collingwood in round three and played again the following week against Fremantle, acquitting himself well on both occasions, before returning to play in the WAFL.

Hickey damaged an ankle in the game against Melbourne, battled through but has missed the last two games. It will be intriguing to see if he makes the trip and the Eagles go in with two big men, with Hickey  sharing responsibility with Nathan Vardy.