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Dog defender sidelined for Pies clash

Cyril hopes, Viney out, McGovern talk Friday Footy Feed with Matt Thompson

THE WESTERN Bulldogs have withdrawn defensive playmaker Shane Biggs (back spasms) from Saturday's JLT Community Series game against Collingwood in Moe.

The 26-year-old premiership player will be replaced in the 26-man squad by rookie Billy Gowers.

Gowers, who is a hard-running medium forward, spent one season on Carlton's rookie list in 2016 before impressing at Footscray last season and earning another chance at the highest level.

Another notable absentee from the Dogs' side for the trip to country Victoria is big man Tom Boyd, with assistant coach Steven King telling reporters on Friday morning the 22-year-old wasn't out of contention for round one despite not being selected for either of the club's pre-season matches.

The versatile tall will join other players left out of the squad to face the Magpies in a training and match simulation session on Saturday morning.

Recruit and fellow tall forward Josh Schache has been the only key forward picked in the club's two pre-season hit-outs, with first-choice key forward Jack Redpath unavailable for round one through suspension.

"(Tom is) training hard and getting up to peak fitness and form, (but) had a slight hiccup in the pre-season with a glute injury and missed a couple of weeks," King said.

"We've got a full and available list, and 'Boydy', like a handful of others, is definitely not out of contention for round one.

"He's happy, he's healthy and he's building."

Midfielder Mitch Wallis is in a similar situation to Boyd, with the 25-year-old also suffering a glute injury over the summer.

Wallis, who missed the club's 2016 premiership with a badly broken leg, must also be in doubt for round one after he was unavailable for the club's intra-club session in late February.