IZAK Rankine has been dropped by Gold Coast and will play in the VFL this weekend.
Rankine, the No.3 pick from the 2018 NAB AFL Draft, has been well below his best recently, kicking just one goal from his past six matches.
Against Brisbane last Saturday he finished with seven disposals and was soundly beaten by Lions blanket Brandon Starcevich.
In Rankine's place for Saturday's match against Melbourne at Metricon Stadium comes Northern Territory product Joel Jeffrey, who will debut after kicking nine goals in the VFL.
Jeffrey has smashed the selection door down with 12 goals in the past two weeks and 19 in the past six.
But Rankine's axing is a big statement by coach Stuart Dew.
The 21-year-old has played 30 successive matches since bursting on to the scene with an electric three-goal debut against the Demons last July.
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"His last three weeks he hasn't had the impact he would like so we're going to get him to go back to the VFL and play a game there to regain confidence," Dew said following Thursday's main training session.
"We've done it with a number of players this year, like Ben Ainsworth and Josh Corbett.
"That's a sign of growth in our footy club that if someone dips in form or confidence we can put them back, that's what the reserves are there for, but then also to reward the guys in the reserves.
"The instruction this week is go out and enjoy his footy and get his hands on it."
The Suns are playing rampant Southport at Metricon Stadium's Council Training Oval on Saturday morning.
Ainsworth was dropped earlier in the year and has bounced back strongly, kicking six goals from five matches, averaging 15 disposals and handing off eight goal assists.
Dew said Rankine would be given some time in the midfield to help him find his touch.
Jeffrey's form was too good to refuse, with the athletic forward's huge haul against Aspley the icing on the cake.
"He can kick it a number of ways," Dew said.
"Whether it's a front-and-square, he can mark it, he slides out really well defensively, he's formidable when he's on the lead as well because he's a bit hard to match up on because he's quite good at ground level.
"He just comes in with confidence and with a really good month to six weeks behind him."