Fremantle make six changes to face Gold Coast, recalling key defender Griffin Logue for 50th game

Headshot of Eliza Reilly
Eliza ReillyThe West Australian
Fremantle defender Griffin Logue will play his 50th game for the Dockers.
Camera IconFremantle defender Griffin Logue will play his 50th game for the Dockers. Credit: Simon Santi/The West Australian

Fremantle have made six changes for Sunday’s clash with Gold Coast, recalling a string of first-choice players.

Griffin Logue, Rory Lobb, Travis Colyer, Blake Acres and Michael Frederick all return after a week in COVID protocols.

Young midfielder Neil Erasmus has also been upgraded from medical sub last week to certain starter after gathering eight disposals, three clearances and two tackles from 17 per cent game time.

Sam Switkowski (concussion), Michael Walters (health and safety protocols) and Nathan O’Driscoll (foot) were forced changes while Brandon Walker, Liam Henry and Jye Amiss were axed.

All-Australian defender Luke Ryan travelled to Queensland on Friday but faces a late fitness test on his ankle after failing to take part in main training this week.

The match marks Logue’s 50th AFL appearance after being drafted to Fremantle with pick eight in the 2016 draft.

Logue, who has been dropped twice this season, has found himself the third tall defender in a structure where the Dockers have preferred to go with just two, with Brennan Cox and Alex Pearce their preferred options.

Coach Justin Longmuir said Logue had developed the ability to play a number of roles in defence, highlighted by his stunning effort to hold Geelong’s Jeremy Cameron goalless.

In-form players have continued to miss out at selection during Fremantle’s six-game winning streak and the Dockers continued to pick the best team possible against a Gold Coast outfit fresh off an upset win over Sydney.

“I think that’s flirting with form a little bit, both individually and as a team,” Longmuir said.

“Naturally we’ve managed to rest players through the weeks missed with COVID … so that’s probably where we’ll leave it.

“We face one of the longer road trips for a WA club against a team who play a very honest brand of footy.

“They’re coming off a good win against Sydney, it’s going to be a good challenge and one we’re looking forward to.”

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 23: Rory Lobb of the Dockers celebrates after scoring a goal during the 2022 AFL Round 06 match between the Fremantle Dockers and the Carlton Blues at Optus Stadium on April 23, 2022 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Will Russell/AFL Photos)
Camera IconRory Lobb is back for the Dockers. Credit: Will Russell/AFL Photos

Walker, Henry, Amiss and Ethan Hughes were named as emergencies, with the medical sub to be confirmed an hour prior to bounce down.

Young gun Noah Anderson returns for Gold Coast with Joel Jeffrey.

Jack Lukosius is injured, Alex Davies managed and Darcy Macpherson was dropped.

Gold Coast coach Stuart Dew said the Suns were eyeing another upset.

“They’ve been hard to play against for a little while now,” Dew said.

“JL has them playing a good system…very organised. Well coached, well drilled. It’ll be a good battle.

“We’ve played a lot of teams in the eight which is good for our development so we’ll look to take as many scalps as we can.”

Rain is forecast but the worst of a severe weather system, which has brought flooding to parts of South East Queensland, is set to ease on Saturday.

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