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'It's my favourite position': Eagle wants to help in ruck

Justin Chadwick, AAP  March 20, 2017 8:52 PM

AFL 2017 JLT Community Series - West Coast Eagles v Melbourne

Jeremy McGovern has declared his love of rucking

STAR West Coast defender Jeremy McGovern wants to be used as a ruckman this AFL season, but he doubts his wish will be granted.

The Eagles' ruck stocks have been depleted heading into Sunday's round one encounter against North Melbourne, with Nic Naitanui (knee) set to miss most of the season and Scott Lycett (shoulder) facing three months on the sidelines. 

Former Roo Drew Petrie and ex-Cat Nathan Vardy are set to be given first crack as West Coast's ruck pairing this year, with Jonathan Giles also vying for a berth.

But McGovern has thrown his hat into the ring as well, declaring his love of rucking.

"It's my favourite position," McGovern said on Monday. 

"It's not my best position, I don't think. But I'd love to play it at some stage if I have to. 

"We've got three fit boys in Gilesy, Vardy and Drew Petrie who have all been playing well. 

"The match committee have got another tough decision on their hands with those three."

At 195cm and 100kg, McGovern would be undersized as a ruckman.

And he doesn't think he has much of a chance of convincing coach Adam Simpson to let him play there.

But he thought he'd plead his case anyway. 

"I just love it. You get to run around and do what you want pretty much," McGovern said of the ruck role. 

"Ask Dean Cox - he loves it. You tap it down blokes' throats. Coxy reckons he's won two Brownlows off his own hands (Chris Judd and Ben Cousins). 

"Simmo (Simpson) knows I'd love to play it. But I'm not a ruckman. I wish I was a bit taller and a bit stronger." 

McGovern boasts one of the best marking capabilities in the competition and has the potential to become the League's best swingman. 

He was an All Australian defender last season and showed in his debut season of 2014 how dangerous he could be in attack as well. 

McGovern is expected to play in defence in Sunday's clash with the Kangaroos at Etihad Stadium. 

But it remains to be seen who will join him there, with fellow key defenders Eric Mackenzie and Tom Barrass battling it out for spots. 

McGovern feels there's room for all three, but the Eagles are unlikely to load up on that many talls, especially if they play Will Schofield, who can play on talls or smalls.