SYDNEY is hoping to make the SCG a fortress again and take advantage of the COVID-altered fixture that has handed the Swans three consecutive home games.

After hosting Carlton in R11, Sydney will now play St Kilda and Hawthorn at home and has a golden opportunity to cement itself in the top eight.

"We've got to try to make the most of this week and next week obviously," James Rowbottom told reporters on Thursday.


"I don't think we won many games at home over the last 12 months and then this year we've put together some solid performances here.

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"It's not so much talk from the coaches, but amongst the boys. It has been more excitement. We had another 29,000 here on Sunday afternoon against Carlton, which is amazing, and hopefully in the next few weeks we can get the same and make the most of it."

The SCG once was a fortress for the Swans, but between 2017 and 2019 (the most recent full seasons) Sydney was barely going at 50 per cent, winning 18 matches out of 35. 

And in the disrupted 2020 competition the Swans could only win one of their four games at the SCG (against Hawthorn).

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But they are again enjoying victory at home, winning five of six in 2021 and only losing to crosstown rivals Greater Western Sydney by two points in round five.

The news only gets better for Sydney with in-form ruckman Tom Hickey set to return for the clash against one of his three former teams. Hickey trained strongly on Thursday after missing the win over the Blues with soreness in his troublesome left knee.

"He's sweet to go. He's a massive part of our team, he'll be really valued on the weekend," Rowbottom said.

Tom Hickey marks against Collingwood in round nine, 2021. Picture: Getty Images

"He's been a massive difference to us this year and provides a big boost for us in the midfield."

Lance Franklin will also take on the Saints after recovering well from a tackle that forced his knee to twist under his body at the start of the final term against Carlton.

The 34-year-old superstar joined his teammates from the start of training on Thursday instead of his traditional core warm-up away from the main group.