The bottom of the ladder Western Bulldogs have recalled premiership trio Toby McLean, Tom Liberatore and Zaine Cordy for Friday night’s crucial meeting with arch-rivals Greater Western Sydney, who will be without star Toby Greene.
Having been carefully managed on the way back from a knee injury, Liberatore returns for his first match of the season, as does McLean, whose absence had raised eyebrows around the league. Key defender Cordy has been preferred to mature-age recruit Ryan Gardner, who struggled in last Sunday night’s loss to St Kilda. Forward Billy Gowers has also lost his place in the Dogs’ side, as has emerging youngster Patrick Lipinski.
The Giants have made two changes for the Marvel Stadium clash. The headline act is Greene, who will miss the match with a knee issue, denying football fans the chance to see him take on the Bulldogs for the first time since last year’s spiteful elimination final, after which he was fined for a tangle with Marcus Bontempelli.
“We just can’t risk it on a five-day break. We need fit and healthy players ready for a huge contest,” Giants coach Leon Cameron said of Greene.