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Saints to unleash top-10 pick against Lions

Hunter Clark will make his AFL debut against the Lions - AFL,St Kilda Saints,Hunter Clark
Hunter Clark will make his AFL debut against the Lions

PRIZED St Kilda draftee Hunter Clark will make his debut against Brisbane on Saturday at Etihad Stadium after a pre-season that has excited coach Alan Richardson.

Clark is the sixth player from the top 10 of last year's NAB AFL Draft to be confirmed as a round-one debutant, joining Andrew Brayshaw (Fremantle), Paddy Dow (Carlton), Luke Davies-Uniacke (North Melbourne), Jaidyn Stephenson (Collingwood) and Aaron Naughton (Western Bulldogs).

The 18-year-old, who was recruited with pick No.7, won over Richardson instantly with his clean hands and toughness and will slot into the Saints' midfield after playing both JLT Community Series games.

"It's pretty exciting," Clark said on the club's website.

"I didn't really know what to expect. I was a bit nervous, but it's a relief.

"Richo said he's pleased with my attack on the footy, and to keep bringing that to the table and impact the game however I can."

Clark booted two goals from 12 possessions in the Saints' opening JLT Series game against, adding another goal and five tackles in a quieter performance against Melbourne.   

The Saints have not announced if pick No.8 Nicholas Coffield, who has also impressed this pre-season and played both JLT games, will be selected.

Captain Jarryn Geary declared on Tuesday that both draftees were ready to perform and play important roles if picked for Saturday's clash.

The Saints are sweating on the fitness of midfield speedster Jack Steven, who hurt his ankle in the pre-season loss to Melbourne earlier this month but trained on Tuesday as the Saints opened their new training facility at Moorabbin.