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West Coast Eagles

Final 22: Rotham and Hickey return

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 14: Tom Hickey of the Eagles runs onto the field during the 2019 AFL round 04 match between the West Coast Eagles and the Fremantle Dockers at Optus Stadium on April 14, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Photos)
Tom Hickey has been recalled to replace Oscar Allen in the Eagles' line-up

Emerging defender Josh Rotham and experienced ruckman Tom Hickey are the two inclusions for the West Coast Eagles as they prepare to tackle an opponent and a venue that has proven tough to conquer.

The Eagles have not beaten Sydney at the SCG since 1999, but that chasm of defeat has been exacerbated by the fact the Eagles have played there only seven times in the last 20 years.

And they were not without a chance before falling to the Swans by 15 points at the famous cricket ground 12 months ago.

That loss came after the mid-season bye, ending a 10-game winning sequence, but the Eagles’ surge towards victory was impeded by a serious leg injury to gun forward Josh Kennedy.

When the touring party left for the harbour city today, Hickey and Rotham were on the flight.

Rotham comes in for injured skipper Shannon Hurn (hamstring), while Hickey is the replacement for forward/ruckman Oscar Allen (ankle).

Rotham played in rounds three and four, making his debut against Collingwood at the MCG before holding his place against Fremantle.

He showed he was more than adept at the level and was rewarded with a recent two-year contract extension.

Hickey injured his ankle in the second quarter of a fighting victory over Melbourne and battled on manfully after the issue.

He has, however, missed the last two games and will be an important inclusion.