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Eagles' defensive pressure 'probably the best', says Hill

Rory's deal, Ray's scans and more Matt Thompson with Monday Footy Feed
Josh Hill of the West Coast Eagles celebrates a goal during the 2015 AFL Round 07 match between the West Coast Eagles and the Gold Coast Suns at Domain Stadium, Perth on May 16, 2015. (Photo: Daniel Carson/AFL Media)
Josh Hill is averaging 3.6 tackles a game in 2015

WEST Coast's forward line pressure is among the best in the AFL, according to Eagles forward Josh Hill.

The stats back up Hill's claim with the Eagles ranked second for time spent in the forward half this season. The stat has propelled the Eagles to second on the rankings of scoring per game.

The inclusion of Jack Darling last Saturday in the win over Essendon following a long lay-off with injury has led some to wonder if West Coast boasts the most potent forward line in the competition.

Hill disagreed with that claim but said the Eagles’ defensive pressure was elite.

"I would say [we have] probably the best defensive forward line," Hill said on Monday.

"We pride ourselves on that forward pressure and we know that once we get it inside we want to lock it in as much as possible and it's definitely showing the way we chase and tackle, and scores will come from that."

Hill said Darling's inclusion had helped.

"He's one of those players that just won't give up," Hill said.

"He gives his best and plays 100 per cent every game. Having him there is definitely a lift for all of us."

The Eagles have a second consecutive six-day break following their 50-point win over the Bombers last Saturday.

They travel to the MCG for the first time this season to face Richmond on Friday night. The Tigers have not played since June 5 while the Eagles will be fronting up for their third game in 13 days.

Hill admitted his teammates would need to be very diligent in their recovery to prepare for the Tigers.

One man who will be touch and go to play is key defender Jeremy McGovern. He was subbed out of the win over the Bombers at three-quarter time after copping a heavy cork to the right thigh in the opening term.

"He's going to be doing whatever he can to pull through for the week and the boys don't really know what he's going to do yet," Hill said.

"It's all up to the docs and whether they clear him."

If McGovern doesn't come up the Eagles may need to turn to untried youngster Tom Barrass.

Coach Adam Simpson said on Saturday night that Barrass was the next in line and Hill said the players had faith in the youngster.

"He plays a lot like ‘Gov’ (McGovern)," Hill said.

"He reads the play well and he can take those intercept marks and he's one of those players that can play his role and play on players that are a bit bigger than him and step up when the challenge is there."