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Stars Return for GIANTS

Ryan Griffen is set to make his return, 12 months since his last AFL game.
We know he hits the ball hard, we know he tackles hard and we look forward to him contributing in his way on the weekend.
GIANTS coach Leon Cameron on Ryan Griffen

Ryan Griffen and Toby Greene headline a trio of inclusions for Saturday afternoon’s big clash with Fremantle at UNSW Canberra Oval.

Veteran Ryan Griffen will play his first game at AFL level in just over a year, named on the interchange after a best-on-ground performance in the NEAFL last weekend. 

“We’re really excited that he comes back into the team,” said coach Leon Cameron.

“There’s no doubt he’ll be nervous because it’s been 12 months, it doesn’t matter how many games you play, but we know what he can do.  

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“We know he hits the ball hard, we know he tackles hard and we look forward to him contributing in his way on the weekend.” 

The 31-year-old injured his ankle in round three last season, sidelining him until late in the season when he made an unsuccessful bid to play finals. 

After a strong pre-season and impressive form in a practice match against the Swans, soreness in the ankle kept him out of the pre-season competition. 

The 241-gamer has now played the past two NEAFL games and collected 31 touches and laid five tackles in the GIANTS’ win over the Swans.

Star forward Greene also returns to the side after a fortnight on the sidelines with hamstring soreness. 

“It’s really good to have him back,” said Cameron.

“Obviously he had a little setback with a sore hammy but trained well this week and we’re looking forward to getting him back into some rhythm.  

“He’s such a competitive player and our forward line no doubt love having him down there. There’s no doubt having six or seven forwards that play together week after week, it creates better cohesion.”

The third inclusion is hulking ruckman Dawson Simpson who will play his third game for the club up against one of the competition’s best rucks in Docker Aaron Sandilands.

“It’s a huge challenge against Aaron Sandilands, who has started the year really well,” Cameron said. 

“Dawson’s had a great pre-season and really been working on his game at NEAFL level. We understand the challenges, but Daws is really excited about going toe-to-toe with such a good ruckman.” 

Simpson replaces Lobb who will miss this week’s game after suffering bone bruising against the Swans last weekend. 

Midfielder Josh Kelly will also miss this week with groin soreness while youngster Harry Perryman has been omitted.

The GIANTS take on Fremantle at home at UNSW Canberra Oval on Saturday afternoon with tickets starting from just $23 from Ticketek. 

GIANTS v Fremantle
Saturday, April 14 at 1:45pm
UNSW Canberra Oval

FB: Jeremy Finlayson, Nick Haynes, Heath Shaw
HB: Tim Taranto, Phil Davis, Aidan Corr
C: Brett Deledio, Callan Ward, Lachie Whitfield
HF: Sam Reid, Harry Himmelberg, Adam Tomlinson
FF: Toby Greene, Jeremy Cameron, Stephen Coniglio
RR: Dawson Simpson, Jacob Hopper Dylan Shiel

Interchange: Jon Patton, Ryan Griffen, Daniel Lloyd, Matt de Boer

In: Toby Greene, Dawson Simpson, Ryan Griffen
Out: Rory Lobb (knee), Josh Kelly (groin), Harry Perryman (omitted)

Emergencies: Aiden Bonar, Lachlan Keeffe, Nick Shipley, Harry Perryman