ADELAIDE skipper Rory Sloane has been locked in as a confirmed starter for Saturday night's clash with Port Adelaide in what looms as a fiery Showdown after both teams suffered heavy defeats last week.
Sloane has been cleared to play after eye surgery last month to fix a detached retina, with coach Matthew Nicks saying the important midfielder would be back for the Adelaide Oval meeting.
"Sloane went well this morning again so off the back of specialists giving him the all-clear he'll play," Nicks said on Friday.
"This morning was that last tick off to make sure he felt right to go.
“We've consulted with the experts and he's been given the all-clear. From a footy point of view he's had just over a month out and it's going to be a challenge for him coming back in but we know what sort of player he is. It's a hard one to keep him out of."
Luke Brown and Will Hamill will also be included in the Crows' line-up as they look to break a three-game losing run after an exciting start to the season following last year's wooden spoon.
"We've come a long way since last year. We've got a group now that are connected. They're doing a lot of work on consistency. We'd like to think we pride ourselves that we'd bounce back from last week where we were convincingly beaten around the contest. I think both teams will be hungry for that contest this weekend," Nicks said.
"We've improved out of sight."
The Power will also be bolstered by the return of Travis Boak from a minor quad injury, with coach Ken Hinkley confirming the veteran midfielder will be joined in the side by Kane Farrell.
With Showdown battles locked at 24 wins apiece across the history of the clash, both clubs have traded on the rivalry in the build-up to the contest.
"It's ready to be on. We won't shy away the fact it's as big a game outside of finals for us and we want to play them and want to win them," Hinkley said.
"It's a great rivalry and at 24-all it's remarkable that you can be so close over a such a long period of time. We're looking for the opportunity to put our noses in front.
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"We educate them [about the rivalry]. We give them an understanding of what it is. We talk about Ramsgate (the pub brawl between Power and Crows players at the Adelaide bar in 2002) and it's on," Hinkley joked. "We all love the stories, we all love to hear about them."
Port football boss Chris Davies said on local radio on Friday morning that the Crows had "professional jealousy" of their crosstown rivals, but Nicks, a former assistant at the Power, wouldn't be drawn on the comments ahead of the contest, which will see the biggest crowd at Adelaide Oval since 2019.
"It's a big call," he said.