TEAM: Veterans return to the fold as Swans fly west

The Sydney Swans have named a 26 player squad for their first round clash against the West Coast Eagles at Optus Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The Swans will be welcoming back veterans Jarrad McVeigh and Heath Grundy, while the Eagles have decided to roll the dice on their enigmatic ruckman, Nic Naitanui.

Callum Sinclair earned selection, recovering from his ankle injury and training strongly in the groups' main session on Thursday.

Despite several promising performances, young ruckman Darcy Cameron will have to wait for his debut, with Towers sharing the ruck duties.

While vice-captain Dan Hannebery misses out through injury, John Longmire says that his star midfielder is nearing a return.

“Hannebery’s been training well and it was a long discussion but we felt with the combination of McVeigh and Grundy coming back in, he was probably another week away,” Longmire said.

“Hannebery was a little bit behind McVeigh in his preparation but he won’t be far away. He’s a quality player – we know that, but we were wanting to give him another couple of training sessions before we played him.”

After an excellent pre-season and JLT Series, Robbie Fox remains in the extended squad and has a chance of playing his first senior match since round 4 last year.

He's joined by Dan Robinson, Harry Cunningham, Oliver Florent and Jordan Foote on the extended bench, while Aliir Aliir is notably absent having failed to prove his fitness during the week.

Gary Rohan is the surprise omission from the side, and Longmire said that it was for the benefit of his family that he remains in Sydney with his pregnant wife.

“He’s fine fitness-wise but he’s decided to stay in Sydney,” Longmire said.

“We think that’s the best thing for him to support his wife who’s nearing the end of a pregnancy term. We along with Gary decided that was the best move for him.”

The final team will be named at 5pm on Friday.

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Justin Mitchell

Justin is a passionate AFL and Sydney Swans supporter, and football blogger since 2016. All articles are of his own opinion. You can reach him by twitter and Facebook at @theswansblog

Melbourne, Australia

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