SUNS Senior Coach Stuart Dew says he’s confident new recruits Sam Collins and Jack Hombsch can lock down key defensive roles for the Gold Coast following the season-ending ACL injury to incumbent Rory Thompson.
Hombsch and Collins played in tandem for their first JLT match together on Sunday and showed promising signs for the season ahead.
“We think we’ve got good depth there,” Dew said post-match.
WATCH: JLT2 Highlights v Sydney
“We weren’t actually sold on who would play where, and in particular the key defensve stocks.
“I think that’s probably why we went for a bit of experience down there in getting Sam Collins and Jack Hombsch in.
“Then we’ve got some developing keys in Caleb Graham, Ben King and Jack Leslie still so we’ve got a little bit of depth there and some good opportunity.”
In his second-year, Charlie Ballard also looked comfortable in the backline while Dew said having a fit and firing Pearce Hanley rebounding off half-back was like having another new recruit.
The SUNS have no shortage of key defensive options, but also have the flexibility to send players such as Sam Day, who was an emergency for JLT2, and Chris Burgess into defence.
“Sam can go back there and I think he plays good footy back there.
READ: Injury Update, Rory Thompson
“Chris Burgess also can swing back there as well. I know we’ve been playing him up front but he’s played a fair bit of football down back.
“We’ll have a sit down now, it gets a little bit harder getting 26 down to 22 but he’s (Burgess) certainly mounted a fair case.”
The SUNS lost gun draftee Izak Rankine to a hamstring injury at half time and Aaron Young to an ankle injury just after the main break.
Dew said Rankine would be scanned early this week.