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Rough in the guts? Big Hawk could up midfield minutes

Jarryd Roughead spent time through the midfield during Hawthorn's match sim on Friday - AFL,Hawthorn Hawks,Jarryd Roughead
Jarryd Roughead spent time through the midfield during Hawthorn's match sim on Friday

HAWTHORN experimented with 2013 Coleman medallist and former skipper Jarryd Roughead as a big-bodied midfielder at times in a spirited scratch match at Waverley Park on Friday.

Roughead was used sporadically in the middle in the past, but it's unclear if the Hawks are seriously considering using him more often in that way or were just increasing his fitness base.

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He had a slow start to the summer after minor post-season ankle surgery, but moved well and didn't look out of place against the likes of Jaeger O'MearaJames Worpel and Dan Howe.

Roughead was also a notable vocal presence, making his feelings known at one stage when his orange side suffered a defensive breakdown trying to rebound the ball.

Brownlow medallist Tom Mitchell's season-threatening broken leg from mid-January could force Hawthorn's brains trust to think creatively – and Roughead may be part of that.

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The move came with not only Mitchell on the sidelines, but also gun recruit Chad Wingard and All Australian forward Luke Breust, who left the track early on Wednesday. 

Rookie-listed Hawk Will Golds came from the ground with a trainer on each arm after copping a heavy knock and did not return.

Injured stars Tom Scully (ankle) and Grant Birchall (knee) were again limited to straight-line and lap running – but had strong workouts – while Jack ScrimshawMathew Walker and Oli Hanrahan ran laps and boxed.

Liam Shiels headlined the opposing centre-square midfielders, alongside Roughead, James Cousins – tipped to be the biggest beneficiary of Mitchell's absence – and second-year player Harry Jones.

Cousins and Jones, who spent his first season in the VFL and predominantly in defence, both impressed with their clearance work.

O'Meara was the standout, winning a heap of the Sherrin and shining with his speed, composure and clean ball use in traffic, as he prepares to be Hawthorn's No.1 midfielder in 2019.

James Sicily and Blake Hardwick were sharp down back for the blue team, which also had Tim O'Brien and James Frawley, who manned Ben McEvoy on occasion.

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McEvoy and Marc Pittonet paired in the ruck against Jon Ceglar and prospective recruit Ned Reeves, with the resting ruckman often used out of the goalsquare under the AFL's new starting positions.

The Hawks are headed to Tasmania this week for their community camp, before a small group of them spend four days in the club's Next Generation Academy zone of Katherine in the Northern Territory.

Hawthorn will hold an intraclub match on Wednesday, February 13 at Waverley Park from 5pm.