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SUNS TV: Andy Lovell Presser

1:29pm  Feb 20, 2017

JLT1: Ainsworth Post-Match

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There were some fresh faces in Gold Coast's back six in their pre-season game against Brisbane.

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Ainsworth shows off his potential

Ben Ainsworth's first hitout in the red and gold has the young gun itching for more.

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Tom Nicholls ready for the challenge

Rhiannon Sargent  January 21, 2016 6:41 PM

AFL 2015 Training - Gold Coast 171215

We haven’t crossed paths much but once the NAB games come around it will be on, red-hot on

Tom Nicholls is having to once again face-off against a fellow teammate to own the position of the GC SUNS’ number one ruckman.

And that’s just what the 203cm ruck will be using to spur him on during the remainder of the pre-season.

“I have got to prove myself again,’’ Nicholls told The Courier Mail.

“With the inclusion of Dan Currie in my mind, the way I see it, is that the No.1 spot is up for grabs again.’’

Although Nicholls emerged as a front man for the ruck role last season, recent recruit Currie brings with him athleticism and strong marking ability.

READ: Nicholls: Currie competition a big benefit

“The only way you get better is to be competing with someone, especially in a team sport,’’ Nicholls said.

“We haven’t crossed paths much but once the NAB games come around it will be on, red-hot on.’’

While both players are on light duties due to niggling injuries at present, the 23-year-old is already thinking ahead to developing his overall game, with the challenge of dominating selection a clear motivator.

“My forward play is something I can definitely work on and my contested marking is a big part of that,’’ he said.

“I have been able to play a bit more up forward during the pre-season in our match simulation drills.’’

WATCH: Pre-Season Match Simulation Training

With the elimination of the subs rule and reduced interchanges, Nicholls points out that the ruck position will now heavily favour an all-rounder who can also play in the forward arc.