THERE will be another five players forced out of West Coast's best team due to injury this week, but coach Adam Simpson does not believe the side has lost enough talent to be anything below its best.
The Eagles are set to play their fifth game in 19 days when they meet the Saints at the Gabba on Thursday night, with Mark Hutchings (hamstring), Lewis Jetta (calf), Dom Sheed (hamstring), Brendon Ah Chee (finger) and Jack Redden (thumb) missing due to injury from the side that lost to the Western Bulldogs by two points last Sunday.
THE FULL INJURY LIST Who is racing the clock?
With experienced midfield duo Elliot Yeo (groin) and Luke Shuey (hamstrings) also still out of the side, developing midfielder Hamish Brayshaw will become the club's sixth AFL debutant this season.
However, despite their vastly changed outfit, West Coast will not settle for anything below its premiership standard against St Kilda as the Eagles chase the victory they believe they need to secure finals football.
"Well, we've got a few out," Simpson said.
ROUNDS 16-18 Check out the full fixture
"There are probably seven or eight out of our starting 18, but we're still excited. We've always been a role-driven side that plays on system.
"We want talent in our side and we're going to be without a few of our A-Grade players. But that doesn't mean we can't win or can't play with the spirit that we've been talking about.
"The players look at it as an opportunity. (Thursday night) is a really big game. It's an opportunity to play finals, and St Kilda is right behind us on the ladder. It's a very important game, so we're not rolling over."
Also on Wednesday, the club confirmed AFL.com.au's report that high-flying forward Liam Ryan inked a two-year contract extension that will tie him to West Coast until the end of the 2022 season. The 23-year-old has appeared in 51 games since his debut in round one 2018, and played in the Eagles' 2018 premiership side in just his 13th senior game.
Jamaine Jones, Harry Edwards, Nic Reid, Xavier O'Neill and Bailey Williams have all made their West Coast debuts in 2020, with Brayshaw to add to that list as the Eagles prepare to be without their entire 2018 premiership midfield on Thursday night.
LADDER PREDICTOR Can your team make the eight?
But amid a hectic schedule, and with several key players out, Simpson believes it's a great chance for the young Eagles to show what they can do at senior level.
"I thought maybe there would be opportunities (this year)," Simpson said.
"We're always looking for the opportunity to blood some young talent through the side and we've done that pretty consistently for a while.
"But all at the same time? Five of our changes this week will be forced, so we probably didn't anticipate that. But it is what it is. We'll still put out a good team and we'll give it a real go."