Seven Queenslander’s are in line for their AFL debuts in week one of the NAB Challenge that kicked off last night.
2015 draftees Eric Hipwood, Ben Keays, and Rueben William, and 2014’s Matt Hammelmann could all pull on the maroon and blue for the first time in thier own backyards when the Brisbane Lions take on the Gold Coast SUNS at Burpengary this Sunday, after being named in the extended quad.
Keays has been training well with the Lions midfield group, Hipwood and Hammellmann have spent a lot of time up forward, and William looks like he is over the niggling groin injury that plagued the back half of 2015.
Tonight, Mabior Chol could run out as a Tiger when Richmond takes on West Coast in Subiaco.
Chol has been training alongside the likes of Ivan Maric in the ruck since arriving at Punt Road, showing off his aerial prowess with a big grab in their intra-club match last week.
Down at Arden Street, Corey Wagner’s impressive summer has landed him in North Melbourne’s extended squad for their game against St Kilda in Wangaratta on Saturday
Wagner has done nothing but impress the Kangaroos hierarchy since draft night, as we wrote in Tuesday Talking Points this week.
Joining Wagner in the squad is second year rookie Braydon Preuss. The big ruckman’s stocks have risen at the Kangaroos over summer since the departure of Daniel Currie.
The squads will be reduced from 29 players to 26 ahead of the match, with an extended eight-man interchange.
Possible Queensland debutants:
#1 Ben Keays
#30 Eric Hipwood
#40 Matt Hammelmann
#47 Reuben William
#31 Braydon Preuss
#41 Corey Wagner
#41 Mabior Chol
By Andrew Wiles