Cats' Irish debutant, De Koning brothers back in AFL

·3-min read

Geelong will unveil another Irish recruit when Oisin Mullin makes his AFL debut against GWS, while Sam and Tom De Koning are back in action for the Cats and Carlton respectively.

Tom De Koning has been recalled by the Blues for his first senior appearance since round five amid intense speculation surrounding the unsigned ruckman's future.

He will join forces with Marc Pittonet against Sydney at the SCG on Friday night, with Tom Hickey making a timely return to bolster the injury-hit Swans' ruck division in the absence of Peter Ladhams (ankle).

Jack Silvagni, Lewis Young and Ed Curnow have all been dropped from Carlton's starting 22 after last week's loss to Collingwood but are possible substitutes after being named as emergencies.

GWS have lost key trio Josh Kelly, Nick Haynes and Harry Himmelberg to injuries for their daunting trip to face Geelong at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday.

Callum Brown, Lachie Keeffe and Daniel Lloyd return to play in captain Toby Greene's 200th game.

The Cats have named Mullin, Sam De Koning and Oliver Henry as their inclusions, with Max Holmes (knee) out injured and Sam Simpson rested.

Mullin, a former GAA Young Footballer of the Year, officially joined Geelong from Mayo late last year as a Category B rookie.

The 23-year-old joins fellow Irish players Zach Tuohy and Mark O'Connor in the Cats' team for his first AFL game.

Tuohy once likened Mullin to Ireland's version of Nick Daicos, such was his standing as a young star in the Gaelic game, while O'Connor lauded his teammate's pace.

"He's just super explosive," O'Connor told SEN radio.

"He played at fullback back home and he would have picked up some of the gun forwards, but his speed is probably the highlight.

"He'd put it up to anyone down here in terms of speed, so that's very exciting.

"Hopefully he can add the attack into his game and run off half-back."

Essendon trio Jayden Laverde, Matt Guelfi and Dylan Shiel have overcome injuries and will return in Saturday night's clash with West Coast, whose line-up will feature star utility Elliot Yeo for just the third time this season.

Key defender Tom Barrass and former captain Shannon Hurn are also back for the injury-ravaged Eagles after missing last week's 116-point thrashing from Hawthorn.

Melbourne have recalled Tom Sparrow and James Harmes as replacements for Clayton Oliver (hamstring) and Lachie Hunter (suspended) for Saturday's date with Fremantle at the MCG.

The Dockers have lost veteran forward Michael Walters to a calf injury and took possible debutant Karl Worner in their travelling party.

St Kilda have named Tim Membrey as an emergency for Saturday's game against Hawthorn at Marvel Stadium but the experienced forward must pass a final test if he is to get the green light to return from concussion.

Membrey could replace fellow forward Mitch Owens (concussion), while the Hawks are unchanged.

Gold Coast have dropped veteran midfielder Brandon Ellis for Saturday night's clash with the Western Bulldogs, recalling Joel Jeffrey and Ben Long.

The Bulldogs will be without dashing defender Jason Johannisen (hamstring), with Lachlan McNeil promoted from substitute into the starting 22.

North Melbourne have left troubled utility Tarryn Thomas in the VFL for at least another week, having flagged his possible AFL comeback in recent days.

Cam Zurhaar will return from a cheekbone injury for the Kangaroos against Collingwood on Sunday.

Port Adelaide will again be without key forwards Todd Marshall and Charlie Dixon, as well as suspended skipper Tom Jonas, for Sunday's clash with Richmond.