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GIANTS 'unchanged and ready to go' - McVeigh

Adam Curley,  September 22, 2017 4:04 PM


Josh Kelly and the GIANTS took full advantage of a rare training session on the MCG.

We've got our emergencies if someone was to fall sick or something, but we're unchanged and ready to go.

Speculation surrounding the GIANTS' team to face Richmond in Saturday's preliminary final remains, but the GIANTS say they're sticking with the 22 selected on Thursday.

Questions over the fitness of Steve Johnson (knee) and Brett Deledio (Achilles), and the Tigers' smaller line-up has caused many to predict that the visitors could swing a late change for the massive clash, but assistant coach Mark McVeigh was adamant on Friday that wouldn't be the case. 

The GIANTS trained at the MCG on Friday afternoon with Johnson and Deledio both on the track, although the pair did the bare minimum. 

All three of the GIANTS emergencies Devon Smith, Sam Reid and Harry Perryman made the trip to Melbourne, along with ruckman Dawson Simpson.

Richmond's lack of height in their forward line placed tall defender Adam Tomlinson in the selection spotlight, especially with Smith passed fit on Wednesday, but McVeigh insisted the GIANTS would go in as named. 

"Our defenders have been really strong for the whole year and we back them," McVeigh said.

"We think they're in really good form and last week they played extremely well in a big final.

"We've got our emergencies if someone was to fall sick or something, but we're unchanged and ready to go.

"If it really rained some discussions would be had with Leon (Cameron) and the coaching staff, but we think we've picked the best 22 for whatever conditions may happen."

McVeigh said Johnson dispelled any doubts about his troublesome knee at Wednesday's closed session and would definitely play his first preliminary final for the GIANTS, after missing last year's loss to the Western Bulldogs through suspension.

"He's good to go, he's up and about and we expect him to give us 120 minutes of his best," he said. 

"He loves this scene (playing at the MCG) and he's got here, so he'll give us what he can on the night."

It was a rare sight to see an opposition club training on the MCG the day before a match, and the GIANTS took advantage of it in a spirited 30 minute session.

"For us just to come out here and surround ourselves with the MCG and what it is, it just builds that excitement going into the game," McVeigh said. 

"It's a really good opportunity for us and we embrace every chance we can to come here."

Saturday afternoon’s game will be shown LIVE on 7mate across NSW and the ACT and Fox Footy all around Australia from 4:30pm.

If you’re in Melbourne, head to the Imperial Hotel for a pre-match function from 1:30pm or if you’re closer to home, join your fellow GIANTS fans at a supporter group or supporter venue.