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Young Cats face daunting ruck task

Adam McNicol  February 28, 2013 2:54 PM

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Geelong rookie Josh Walker gets a chance to impress against Adelaide


FORMER steeple-chaser Mark Blicavs and fellow rookie Josh Walker will carry the rucking load for Geelong in Saturday's round two NAB Cup clash with Adelaide at Simonds Stadium.
 
The Cats' ruck stocks have been depleted by injuries, with Trent West the latest to be sidelined after having minor knee surgery.
 
Of Geelong's other ruckmen, Dawson Simpson (back) is on the club's long-term injury list, while star recruit Hamish McIntosh, who is battling back from a serious knee operation, is likely to miss the first few rounds of the home and away season.
 
Emerging big man Nathan Vardy, who missed most of last year with hip problems, is being eased into competitive action.
 
Vardy didn't make the trip to Perth for the opening weekend of the NAB Cup and he has been left out of the team to play the Crows, which means Blicavs and Walker will take on Sam Jacobs.
 
Full NAB Cup teams

Skipper Joel Selwood and key forward Tom Hawkins, who both lined up against West Coast and Fremantle, have also been left out of the Cats' team.
 
But triple premiership players Andrew Mackie, Paul Chapman and James Kelly will run out in their first games for the year.
 
Adelaide, which beat Fremantle in a trial game last weekend, has picked a strong squad.
 
Scott Thompson, Ben Rutten, Brent Reilly and Jason Porplyzia all set to kick off their NAB Cup campaigns.
 
Key forward Josh Kennedy resumes for West Coast in what shapes as a strong squad for Sunday evening's Patersons Stadium clash with Collingwood.
 
The Pies have picked most of their available big names, although Alex Fasolo and Tyson Goldsack, who resumed in an intra-club affair, will not play.
 
Andrew Krakouer and Clinton Young will also not make the trip.
 
Essendon has decided to delay the unveiling of father-son recruit Joe Daniher, despite predictions he would line up against Richmond in Wangaratta on Saturday evening.
 
The Tigers are resting star onballers Trent Cotchin and Brett Deledio and ruckman Ivan Maric.
 
With Maric and Tom Derickx out of the team, Orren Stephenson and Ty Vickery will do the rucking for Richmond.
 
Fresh from being named Brisbane Lions co-captain, Jed Adcock will make his first appearance for the season when he lines up against Greater Western Sydney in Wagga Wagga on Saturday night.
 
Giants co-captain Callan Ward, who missed last weekend’s opening round matches at Blacktown with a minor knee injury, comes into their squad along with former Carlton defender Bret Thornton.
 
As expected, Melbourne is taking a young squad to Renmark for Sunday afternoon's clash with Port Adelaide. A host of big names will miss.

Port's squad is also missing a heap of experience, perhaps in anticipation that the two clubs meet again in the opening round of the season.
 
North Melbourne vice-captain Petrie won't make the trip to Townsville to take on Gold Coast on Saturday afternoon.
 
Petrie, Nathan Grima and Majak Daw are the three key outs from the North side that beat Melbourne and Richmond last weekend.
 
The Suns have named a strong squad, with gun midfielders Gary Ablett, Harley Bennell and David Swallow to line up alongside youngsters Jaeger O'Meara and Jack Martin.
 
Chris Judd, Jarrad Waite, Shaun Hampson and Heath Scotland are the notable absentees from Carlton's squad for Saturday night clash with Fremantle at Etihad Stadium.
 
Ruckmen Robert Warnock and Matthew Kreuzer have been included in the Blues' line-up.
 
Freo skipper Matthew Pavlich will miss the match to be with his heavily pregnant wife, while Aaron Sandilands is out with a hamstring strain.
 
Midfielders Michael Barlow and Stephen Hill are having the weekend off.
 
St Kilda and the Sydney Swans have named a very inexperienced squads for Sunday's game at Etihad Stadium.
 
Nick Dal Santo, James Gwilt, Lenny Hayes, Justin Koschitzke, Stephen Milne, Nick Riewoldt, Adam Schneider and Jack Steven will all miss for the Saints.
 
However, Sean Dempster and Rhys Stanley are in for their first runs of the year after being carefully managed during the pre-season to date.
 
The Swans have given Craig Bird, Nick Malceski, Jarrad McVeigh and Ryan O'Keefe, who all played last Sunday, this weekend off.
 
Adam Goodes, Martin Mattner, Shane Mumford and Rhyce Shaw are being rested for the second weekend in a row, but Ben McGlynn has been included.

Josh Walker is a forward in AFL Fantasy. He averaged 43 points in 2012. Register your team at our AFL Fantasy hub.