Suspended ruckman Braydon Preuss has fronted his GWS teammates to address the ban that has left them short for the AFL clash with unbeaten Melbourne.
Inexperienced Matt Flynn will be recalled to combat Demons premiership pair Max Gawn and Luke Jackson after Preuss was rubbed out for striking Fremantle’s David Mundy.
The incident occured during the Giants’ 34-point defeat at Optus Stadium last week, which left them with a 1-3 record ahead of Saturday night’s trip to the MCG.
Preuss’ suspension is his second in a matter of weeks and comes after he missed all of last season – his first at GWS after stints at North Melbourne and Melbourne – through injury.
Giants coach Leon Cameron said Preuss had spoken to his teammates this week, admitting he had let them down.
“We’re disappointed that he’s not out there because of the indiscretion and he needs to learn from that,” Cameron said.
“He needs to understand that white line fever and staying in the match.
“But I’m confident he will and we need him out on the park, along with our other young ruckmen, to form a combination that can help our midfield progress in 2022.”
Flynn, who has played just 14 senior games, will be supported by either five-gamer Kieren Briggs or key defender Lachlan Keeffe.
“Keeffe did it a few weeks ago with Preuss and we were really rapt but equally Briggsy’s starting to build his fitness base on the back of an interrupted pre-season,” Cameron said.
“Clearly we need to take two big men in that department to combat Gawn and Jackson.
“Their combination, everybody knows how good it is, so we look forward to it as an opportunity for our young fellas, or Keeffe as our second ruck, to take it right up to them.”
Cameron said Lachie Whitfield is available to take on Melbourne despite hurting a knee during the Fremantle clash.
But there is still doubt over star defender Nick Haynes, who missed that game with an ankle injury and may need one more week on the sidelines.
“He’s such a brave player so we’ve got to make sure that he’s right but it’s looking more positive than negative that Nick will play,” Cameron said.