Sydney Swans' ruck crisis may have come to a head already this season, with Tippett retiring from injury and Naismith rupturing his ACL.
But where there's crisis there's opportunity and glimmers of hope, as the Swans look far are wide for replacements, looking for a way to get their hands on the ball.
Casting their net far and wide, expanding the reaches of their thread-bare ruck division, lead admirably by 28-year-old 64-game veteran Callum Sinclair, already nursing an ankle injury, the Swans may have found the solution.
Callum Sinclair and rookie Darcy Cameron look the likely package heading into season proper, certainly against the Eagles as they weigh up the possibility of recalling a fit-again Nic Naitanui ahead of the crucial clash.
Raw statistics from the two JLT series games played by the Swans paints a bleak picture, smashed in the ruck hit-outs category 79 to 30, averaging a league-worst 23.3% win rate, while suffering equally in hit outs to advantage.
While the Swans have never particularly excelled in ruck contests this decade, they've done exceptionally well when the ball hits the deck, often winning clearances.
With the bleak figures and injuries taking their toll, it might be time for the Swans to unleash their secret weapon ahead of round 1, the beanpole ruck extraordinaire.
Want instant access to the latest blog and news content from The Swans Blog?
Download our Android App from Google Play today.