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Buddy beauty: Opponent to miss massive clash

Tiger talks tough, contracts aplenty Mitch Cleary brings you up to date with the latest news
Lance Franklin torched the Eagles in round one - AFL,West Coast Eagles,Tom Barrass
Lance Franklin torched the Eagles in round one

WEST Coast has suffered a blow with key defender Tom Barrass to miss Friday night's massive clash with Sydney at the SCG.

Barrass was set to renew his round one battle with Swans superstar Lance Franklin but wasn't part of the Eagles' 24-man squad to train on Thursday.

Franklin torched the Eagles with an epic eight-goal performance at Optus Stadium in the season opener, and the absence of Barrass will hurt the ladder leaders, with Jeremy McGovern now likely to get the job. 

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West Coast assistant coach Sam Mitchell remained tight-lipped when asked about Barrass before the visitors took to the SCG. 

"I'm not sure, you'll have to do the count yourself," he said with a smile. 

"We've got match committee after training so there's still a couple of decisions to be made.

"I've got very strict instructions not to tell you who is playing."

McGovern is West Coast's best intercept marking defender and the extra responsibility of trying to stop Franklin could also disrupt the Eagles' game plan, so coach Adam Simpson could opt to use captain Shannon Hurn or Brad Sheppard on the Swan to allow McGovern more freedom.

Mitchell is well aware of Franklin's freakish talents from his time playing alongside him at Hawthorn, but that hasn't stopped West Coast putting plenty of planning into stopping the four-time Coleman medal winner.

 

"You have to start your planning around 'Bud' pretty early," Mitchell said.

"We've been watching him the last couple of weeks to see how he goes about his business, but also to see how they structure up and give him space.

"He's been really potent around goal, he's getting a lot of shots at goal and a lot of metres gained.

"He's an important player for them, but they've also got some other talented players in their forward half that we're not underestimating."