The West Coast Eagles will have courageous captain Luke Shuey on their side when they wage war on Fremantle at Optus Stadium on Sunday.
The inspirational skipper will line up against the Dockers in RAC Derby 51 after overcoming a minor hamstring injury that forced him to miss last week’s 34-point triumph over Adelaide.
While the two-time John Worsfold medallist’s spot in the side has been confirmed, a number of other Eagles are in the mix to face the team’s arch-rivals in front of the biggest AFL crowd of 2020 to date - a sell-out, (albeit mostly purple) 30,000-strong audience.
Premiership ruck-forward Nathan Vardy is a chance to play his first senior fixture of the season, as is developing defender Josh Rotham, who made an appearance earlier this year against Brisbane in round three.
The other player in contention for a call up is third-year midfielder Xavier O’Neill, who is yet to make his debut for the Eagles after arriving at the club via pick No.28 in the 2018 AFL Draft.
O’Neill, an Oakleigh Chargers product, used his time in the Gold Coast hub to hone his skills and was an impressive performer in the club’s various scrimmage contests against Gold Coast and Brisbane’s excess players.
He possesses clean hands, explosive pace and uses the ball well under pressure.
The 19-year-old had a productive year for West Coast’s inaugural WAFL team in 2019 and is now on the cusp of pressing for senior selection.
The aforementioned trio have been named on an extended bench alongside Jake Waterman, Oscar Allen, Jackson Nelson, Brayden Ainsworth and Jarrod Cameron, who all played their part in last week’s win against the Crows.
West Coast’s match committee will confirm its final 22 and four emergencies at 3pm WST tomorrow.