Luke Russell will make his first AFL appearance for 2014, with the hard-running Gold Coast utility named to play against Brisbane in the QClash at Metricon Stadium this Saturday, but the news isn’t so good for key forward Charlie Dixon who will miss the match with an adductor problem.
General Manager – Football Operations, Marcus Ashcroft, said Dixon scans indicated the GC SUNS’ spearhead had sustained a strain to his adductor.
"Charlie reported a sore groin to our medical staff immediately following last week’s match against Fremantle.
"We sent him for scans during the week and the results indicated a strain to his adductor. At this early stage we anticipate that Charlie will miss at least two weeks," Ashcroft told goldcoastfc.com.au.
Matthew Warnock has earned a recall, following a strong performance in the seconds alongside Russell.
He was unlucky to be omitted from Gold Coast’s winning round one team after doing a serviceable job on two-time Coleman medallist Jack Riewoldt,, but Ashcroft said the reliable backman had responded in the right way.
“Matthew would have been disappointed not to be in the team last week, but he went back to the reserves and performed well and, as such, deserves a recall on the back of that,” he said.
Russell, meantime, has found solid form in the Gold Coast SUNS NEAFL team in recent weeks and captained the reserves side in their season opener against Southport last start.
He managed 18 matches at senior level in 2013, and Ashcroft said the in-form midfielder had shown a strong desire to return to senior football.
“It’s a great reward for Luke who has played some pretty good footy in the reserves.
“He has played a key role in the last two weeks and thoroughly deserves his elevation to the senior team this week.”
ROUND 3 AFL Premiership Senior Team
B: R. Thompson, M. Warnock, G. Broughton
HB: S. May, C. Cameron, T. McKenzie
C: M. Shaw, G. Ablett, J. Harbrow
HF: A. Hall, T. Lynch, D. Stanley
F: K. Kolodjashnij S. Day, B. Matera
R: T. Nicholls, J. O’Meara, D. Prestia
INT: L. Russell, S. Lemmens, D. Swallow, M. Rischitelli
Emergencies: A. Sexton, K. Hunt, J. Taylor
In: Warnock, Russell
Out: Dixon (Adductor), Sumner (omit)