AFL Round 1 selection preview

When Jake Spencer made his AFL debut in Round 1 of 2009 Jack Bowes was barely 11 years old.

They are more than eight years apart in age and even further apart in football pedigree and experience.

But this week, according to AFL staff writers, Spencer, a rookie turned 10-year veteran, and Bowes, Queensland’s first top 10 draft pick in a decade, are poised to be the State’s headline acts in Round 1 of the 2017 Toyota AFL premiership.

This comes after the scribes at turned their hand to selection over the weekend to try to predict the Round 1 sides for all 18 clubs.

They included Bowes and Spencer among 22 Queenslanders.

And if either selection is right it will be a heart-warming story that will generate special interest in regional Queensland.

Nineteen-year-old Bowers, originally from Cairns, is tipped to debut for the Gold Coast Suns in the Q-Clash against the Brisbane Lions at Metricon on Saturday evening.

And 27-year-old Spencer, originally from Townsville, is tipped to play his 37th game against St.Kilda at Etihad Stadium Saturday afternoon after what will be 537 days since his 26th game.

Both did well in the JLT Community Series, with Bowes names at half back in the notional Suns side by Queensland reporter Michael Whiting, and Spencer named on the Melbourne bench by Melbourne-based scribe Ben Guthrie to partner All-Australian ruckman Max Gawn.

According to Whiting, 10 Queenslanders will play in the Q-Clash.

He’s nominated captain Dayne Beams, Dayne Zorko, Harris Andrews,, Eric Hipwood, Tom Bell and Ben Keays in the Brisbane side, suggesting Clay Beams was an unlucky omission, and included Bowes, Rory Thompson, Alex Sexton and Jesse Joyce in his Gold Coast line-up.

Nick Riewoldt, set to begin his 17th AFL season, was among Queenslanders in the notional St.Kilda side. Others were Sam Gilbert, Tom Hickey and David Armitage.

Josh Smith and Jesse White were included in the likely Collingwood side to play the Western Bulldogs at the MCG Friday night, with Kurt Tippett and Aliir Aliir tipped to represent the Sydney Swans at the SCG on Saturday against a Port Adelaide side that will included Charlie Dixon.

And, tipped to play in Perth in the last game of the round on Sunday between Fremantle and Geelong were Dockers young gun Lachie Weller and Cats ruckman Zac Smith.

Unavailable for selection due to injury is Melbourne’s Josh Wagner, who will miss the first couple of weeks after injury in Round 1 of the pre-season series, and Richmond ruckman Shaun Hampson, who is officially listed as ‘indefinite’ on the club’s injury list due to back problems.

Mabior Chol was likely to be mentioned in discussions at Richmond ahead of Thursday night’s season opener against Carlton at the MCG, according to Nathan Schmook, but Schmook opted for Ben Griffiths as the second big man to partner Toby Nankervis.

The fixture for Round 1 of the 2017 AFL Toyota Premiership is:-

Carlton v Richmond (MCG)

Collingwood v W/Bulldogs (MCG)

St.Kilda v Melbourne (Etihad Stadium)
Sydney v Port Adelaide (SCG)
Essendon v Hawthorn (MCG)
Gold Coast v Brisbane (Metricon Stadium)

North Melbourne v West Coast (Etihad Stadium)
Adelaide v GWS Giants (Adelaide Oval)
Fremantle v Geelong (Domain Stadium)

By peter Blucher


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