Harley Reid chats to the umpire during the R12 match between West Coast and St Kilda at Optus Stadium on June 1, 2024. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

WEST Coast coach Adam Simpson wants Harley Reid to maintain his trademark physicality, saying the prized No.1 pick will have learned a lot from his first AFL suspension and dealing with a hard tag.

Reid was suspended for two weeks after slinging St Kilda's Darcy Wilson to the ground in a dangerous tackle in last weekend's clash.

The incident came during a frustrating second half for Reid, who was held to just three disposals across the final two quarters and gave away four free kicks after being tagged by Marcus Windhager.

Reid will miss Saturday's home match against North Melbourne at Optus Stadium as well as June 23's away clash with Essendon.

Given the Eagles have the bye in between, Reid will be out of action for 29 days.

Reid's physicality - including his trademark fend-offs and heavy tackles - are an important part of his game, and Simpson doesn't want the 19-year-old to go into his shell following the suspension.


"It's cost him a couple of weeks with the (tackling) action," Simpson said on Friday. 

"(It's about) how do we adjust that, because we don't want to take away his physicality and the way he goes about it.

"He learned so much last week about managing more attention, which he's been pretty good at.

"But the tag and the run-with, and how we can help him is (also) important."

Harley Reid during the match between West Coast and St Kilda at Optus Stadium on June 1, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Reid's suspension means he is no longer eligible to win the Rising Star award.

A number of coaches have spoken out against the rule, believing players shouldn't be ruled out for a football action such as a tackle.

"The rule's been there for a while," Simpson said.

"What's changed is the reportable incidents have changed over the years.

"There's probably more things you can get done for inadvertently, whereas back in the day you had to do a fair bit to miss a game."

Reid's absence has paved the way for Jai Culley's return, marking the 21-year-old's first AFL game since he ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in round eight last year.

Culley forced his way back into the senior side after tallying 30 disposals, seven tackles, seven marks and a goal in the WAFL last week.

The Eagles also welcome back in-form forward Jake Waterman, and will hand mid-season recruit Jack Hutchinson his AFL debut.


Hutchinson, who was pick No.3 in last week's mid-season rookie draft, kicked five goals in the WAFL last Sunday.

"Don't expect five (but) we'll take it," Simpson said with a laugh when asked about his expectations for the 22-year-old.

North Melbourne (0-11) enters Saturday's match in last spot on the ladder and with a woeful percentage of 55.9, but has been boosted by the return of co-captain Jy Simpkin.