Rory Lobb ahead of the Western Bulldogs' clash with Fremantle in round seven, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

LUKE Beveridge is adamant an "apologetic and embarrassed" Rory Lobb is committed to the Western Bulldogs' cause in the face of further trade speculation.

Beveridge on Wednesday revealed the former Fremantle and GWS ruck-forward approached him this week to address reports that he is unhappy with a lack of playing time, and could seek a trade to a fourth club in the off-season.

Lobb has played just three senior games this season – his second at the Bulldogs, after 20 appearances last year – but is set to be recalled for Friday night's crunch clash with Collingwood at Marvel Stadium.

The opportunity comes with Dogs spearhead Aaron Naughton unavailable for at least a month because of a knee injury.


"He came in and saw me, and I wasn't even aware of (the trade speculation), and he's looking at me as though he's walked into the principal's office," Bulldogs coach Beveridge told reporters on Wednesday.

"He was quite apologetic and even embarrassed by it.

"I just reassured him that if that's what's transpiring, whether it's rumour and innuendo or whether it's actually factual, it doesn't matter to me."

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Pressed on why Lobb was apologetic over the trade report, Beveridge said: "It didn't reflect his train of thought.

"He's absolutely committed here and anything that happens post-season, happens post-season.

"I think he was just trying to reassure me that anything like that, that for him was a bit distasteful or unsavoury, won't get in the way of his application."


Lobb will likely slot in alongside Jamarra Ugle-Hagan and Sam Darcy as part of the Bulldogs' tall forward line, as they look to rebound from last week's loss to ladder leaders Sydney.

Meanwhile, Beveridge has thrown his support behind injured midfielder Bailey Smith travelling overseas for a three-week break.

The 23-year-old is heading to Europe in a bid to freshen up mentally as he continues he rehabilitation from a knee injury, after damaging an anterior cruciate ligament at training in December last year.

Bailey Smith at Western Bulldogs training on May 9, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

"This will be another block that's quite critical for him as he scales up to prepare to play again, which is most likely next year," Beveridge said.

"He sort of feels like he can return this year but ultimately the conservatism around his future will probably say that he doesn't play this year.

"But he's training pretty well now, he's kicking the ball and he's feeling really good about himself, so we absolutely support him (with the Europe trip). I think it will be good for him."

Smith comes out of contract at the end of the season and appears increasingly likely to leave the Bulldogs, with Collingwood, Geelong and Hawthorn all linked to the high-profile midfielder.