QLD duo in Saints’ NAB Challenge squad

By Beth Newman

Two Queenslanders will don the red, white and black in tonight’s St Kilda vs. Western Bulldogs NAB Challenge match.

Morningside’s Tom Hickey will take the field in his first match since the departure of Ben McEvoy to the Hawks, to prove his ability as the side’s number one ruckman.

The match will provide the first chance for fans to see Hickey team up with ex-Brisbane Lion, Billy Longer, in the ruck.

Hickey is in his second season with the Saints, coming to Seaford from the Gold Coast SUNS at the end of 2012.

The developing ruckman impressed last season, playing 12 games for the Saints, and will be looking to build on that in his first match for 2014.

The Panthers are also the home club for the night’s other Queenslander, with David Armitage named for St Kilda.

Pick number nine in the 2006 draft, Armitage has become a key member of the Saints midfield and last year cemented his value to the team.

The Saints are heading into the match without captain, and former Southport Shark, Nick Riewoldt, but ex-Gold Coast SUN, Maverick Weller, is set to make his St Kilda debut.

Saints fans will also have the chance to see new draftee, Jack Billings, who was impressive in a recent intra-club match.

Both sides will be missing their main leaders, with Bulldogs captain Ryan Griffen sitting out the match, but a number of new recruits will be on show for his team.

Tom Williams has not been named in tonight’s 29-man squad, with the club taking a cautious approach to his preparation after an injury-plagued 2013.

Stewart Crameri will feature in his first game for the Bulldogs, though, after being traded from Essendon at the end of 2013.

Rising star, Tom Liberatore and former Bulldogs captain Matthew Boyd are among the top liners named in the 29-man squad.

The match kicks off at 6:10pm Queensland time, broadcast on Fox Footy.

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