Taylor Adams at Sydney training on December 4, 2023. Picture: Phil Hillyard

SYDNEY coach John Longmire has confirmed that high-profile recruit Taylor Adams will make his debut for the club this weekend against West Coast in Gather Round.

Longmire also said that forward Sam Wicks is available for selection in the aftermath of an internal issue at the club, while praising the four-year deal signed by gun midfielder James Rowbottom.

Off the back of a surprise five-point defeat to Richmond on Sunday, 30-year-old Adams' inclusion will provide the Swans with a boost as they face the Eagles for the first time since the 171-point demolition at the SCG last year.

The 2020 Copeland Trophy winner at Collingwood will make his first appearance as a Swan after getting through two-and-a-half quarters in the VFL on the weekend.

He was out for a month after straining a medial ligament in his left knee during a practice match against Brisbane in March.

"He had a great pre-season. From the moment he walked into the place he provided Luke Parker and Callum Mills with extra help in terms of leadership in our midfield group," Longmire said.


"We have a good young midfield group, but they are still young and still learning so to be able to add another experienced head to that off the field in a meeting sense and on the field, you can see the group learning off him all the time."

Adams will play across the midfield and forward line according to Longmire, with his inclusion making it more difficult for Wicks to get back into the team after he was removed from the squad on the weekend.

GATHER ROUND 2024 All you need to know about the Festival of Footy in SA

The 24-year-old is back in selection calculations, though, amid allegations of a dispute with teammates over a personal matter.

Longmire is confident that the issue hasn't affected team morale.

"Nah, we'll get on with playing footy and that's our focus this week," he said.


"He'll be available for selection, we're working through that at the moment.

"He's back in the squad, he's back among the training group. I'm not going to go into the details other than to say we decided last week to pick the team that we thought was best to go to Melbourne and take on the Tigers."

Sam Wicks celebrates a goal during the R1 match between Sydney and Collingwood at the MCG on March 15, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Veteran defender Harry Cunningham is likely to return after missing last week with concussion in place of Dane Rampe who will miss a month with a hamstring injury.

Rowbottom's signature is a boon for the Swans, with Longmire saying he's among the best competitors he's seen in his time at the club. AFL.com.au's Inside Trading reported Rowbottom's four-year extension last week.

The 23-year-old has finished in the top three of the Bob Skilton Medal in the last two seasons, broke the club's single-season tackling record last year and is already way ahead on that statistic across the competition this season with 42, 18 tackles ahead of Jack Steele.

"There's been a few hard ones over the years but he's in that bracket," Longmire said.

"We had him mic'd up for a game as recently as on the weekend and all it was, was crunch, body on body, whack. No wonder he pulls up a little bit sore. But that's what we love about him he closes opposition time and space and he's really consistent in playing his role. He's a really valued member of our team."

James Rowbottom celebrates a goal with Chad Warner during the R1 match between Sydney and Collingwood at the MCG on March 15, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Errol Gulden and Oli Florent are in the midst of contract negotiations with deals running out at the end of the season.

"We're confident we'll keep all the players that we need to keep," Longmire said.

"We feel like we're fortunate, we feel all the players know that they have a group around them that's important to playing some good footy together. I'm really confident that this group will be a big part of this footy club for some time. That usually takes care of itself."

The clash with the Eagles in the Adelaide Hills of Mount Barker will afford Longmire the chance to 'cross paths' with his former assistant coach and new Eagles CEO Don Pyke.

But as far as reminiscing goes, he said that's where it will stop after the Swans humiliated West Coast last year, inflicting the heaviest defeat on the Eagles in their history in what was the fourth-highest winning margin ever across the VFL/AFL.

"I don't take anything out of it this time around, the only thing I recall is Adam Simpson saying they had one player in their squad in their WAFL team because they were ravaged by injury so it's an absolute outlier," Longmire said.