While Gold Coast is expected to make a handful of changes to its senior team to play St Kilda on Thursday night, perhaps the most significant addition could be to its reserves team. 

For the first time in almost two years, fullback Rory Thompson will play a competitive game of footy when he runs out against Geelong at Carrara earlier that day. 

Thompson ruptured his left ACL on the eve of the 2019 season, and after the COVID shutdown thwarted his chances of returning, the 29-year-old then needed a small procedure on his opposite knee in late June. 

Dew said all Suns eyes would be on Thompson on Thursday, but the expectation was for him to simply enjoy the game. 

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Stuart Dew Press Conference - 05/08/20

SUNS Senior Coach Stuart Dew previews the Round 10 clash with St Kilda.

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"He's worked really hard," Dew said. 

"Rory's very keen to get out there as we know, and we also think the quicker we can get Rory up to AFL speed, the better side we'll become. 

"We're very excited, we'll be keen watchers tomorrow when he plays in the reserves game. 

"He hasn't had the best of luck across the journey, but what he does do is keep backing up and putting the work in." 

At his best, Thompson is an accomplished stopper, capable of taking the opposition's best forward and spoiling with his quick initial speed and long arms. 

In an ideal Gold Coast backline, he would complement Sam Collins and free up Charlie Ballard to play as a third tall defender where he can use his expertise to intercept mark. 

"In terms of a physical sense, he's in great shape," Dew said. 

"He just needs to get his match fitness up to speed and then we'll build on that." 

Dew said Sean Lemmens would possibly be recalled to play the Saints, but would not finalise the rest of the team until Wednesday night. 

"We've had minimal changes, which has been great, but it gets to the point where we want to reward some guys in the reserves – it's a real balance," he said. 

"We're not always going to get it right. 

"We felt we were a little bit off with our intensity (against the Giants). 

"We're keen to see how we measure up against one of the top teams. 

"If we give them enough room as what we gave GWS, we're going to struggle. We need to defend really well but use the footy and force them to defend … take our chances, clearly."