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Cats happy to keep ruck options open ahead of September assault

Ross has his say as Freo looks for 'clean air', plus Lewis calls it quits The Footy Feed Team with all the latest news

GEELONG coach Chris Scott has defended his decision to trial star defender Mark Blicavs as a ruckman on the eve of finals as the Cats ponder their ideal big man stocks for September.

After a season in defence, Blicavs has played the past fortnight as No.1 ruck with Scott leaving the door ajar for the experiment to continue against Carlton on Saturday at GMHBA Stadium.

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When quizzed on the timing of Blicavs playing ahead of previously preferred big men Rhys Stanley and Zac Smith, Scott said there was no need to do it earlier in the year.

"I think it's been fine. I don't think we would've had any more information than we do if we had have tried it three or four weeks earlier," Scott said on Tuesday.

Rhys Stanley could be in line for a recall if the Cats send Blicavs back to defence. Picture: AFL Photos

"I'm not saying it is, but if the reason was we just wanted to see it, then we've seen it for two weeks, so I would've said the timing was pretty good.

"Where we are right at the moment is we've got all of our ruckmen available and all of them have played at AFL level.

"I would contend we're very well prepared in terms of what we've seen and what we have available."

Stanley, who had 24 hitouts, 19 disposals and two goals in the VFL last week, appears next in line should the Cats opt to send Blicavs back to defence and recall a No.1 ruckman.

"It will be a little bit dependent on what we prioritise in certain weeks, I think it's clear we've got to that stage," Scott said.

"Some teams will say 'this is the ruck set-up we're going with no matter what'. That's not us and it hasn't been for quite some time."

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Scott suggested Zach Tuohy's time as a forward would extend to a second week with Tom Atkins to miss the clash with the Blues as he heads for surgery on his hand.

Despite injuring himself in the lead-up to last week's loss to Brisbane, the first-year forward played on against the Lions and laid a match-high 11 tackles.

 

Gary Rohan remains an outside chance to return from a knee injury he suffered in round 20, however the Cats will also consider playing him through the VFL for the next two weeks before unleashing him in the first week of AFL finals.