WEST Coast will look to swing young star Oscar Allen forward against Hawthorn on Sunday if premiership defender Tom Barrass is cleared to return from a shoulder injury.
The Eagles could take another hit in their backline, however, after defender Liam Duggan failed to train on Thursday, with young half-back Luke Foley a chance to play his first game this season if Duggan doesn’t travel for Sunday’s clash at the MCG.
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Barrass has tracked ahead of schedule this week after missing the Eagles' big Western Derby win and was set for a recall if he could complete Thursday's main training session.
With young defender Harry Edwards likely to fill one key post in defence against the young Hawthorn forwards, Allen would be freed up to return to his preferred position and provide significant headaches in a three-pronged attack.
Allen booted five goals against Collingwood in round six and has 16 for the season, ranking equal second for the season at West Coast with Josh Kennedy and behind Jack Darling (19).
"Ideally I think Oscar is a forward, so we need to have that discussion. There is a ripple and we were pretty happy with our defence last week," Simpson said on Thursday.
"Oscar played his part and young Harry Edwards for his second game, in a Derby, I thought he worked into the game quite well.
"If he (Barrass) gets through he'll put his hand up for selection. Fingers crossed, we've got to that point now where we get one back but we might lose a couple as well."
Barrass trained with the main group on Thursday after completing Tuesday's skills session and was again marking overhead in a positive sign.
Ruckman Nathan Vardy did not train, however, and is in doubt for the trip to face Hawthorn with a plantar fascia injury. He faces a fitness test before the team flies to Melbourne.
While Allen could provide ruck support if needed, Simpson said athletic young ruckman Bailey Williams was a chance to play after three games in 2020.
The Eagles will fly to Melbourne on a charter flight and are not expecting to remain in Victoria beyond this week's match, travelling with one emergency and a substitute.
Foley has not played this season but has impressed at WAFL level, presenting as a logical replacement if Duggan misses.
Star midfielder Elliot Yeo continues to make good progress in his recovery from osteitis pubis and took part in match simulation on Thursday.