A HOST of stars including triple-premiership forward Steve Johnson will have their first run for 2017 in tonight’s clash between Greater Western Sydney and the Sydney Swans at Blacktown.
Johnson, 33, will play his first game since last year’s qualifying final against the Swans, in which he was suspended for a rough bump against Josh Kennedy.
The veteran former Cat, who had off-season surgery to repair a thumb tendon, will be joined by Giants co-captains Phil Davis and Callan Ward, Stephen Coniglio, Toby Greene, Dylan Shiel, Tom Scully, Devon Smith, Jeremy Cameron, Nick Haynes, Heath Shaw, Ryan Griffen and Adam Kennedy as inclusions for the hit-out.
Ruckman Shane Mumford has also been named after elbow surgery in late January.
Off-season recruits Brett Deledio and Matt de Boer remain on the sidelines as they overcome calf and hamstring complaints.
While the Giants have loaded up for the pre-season derby, the Swans will be without a number of key players including Jarrad McVeigh, Isaac Heeney, Kieren Jack, Gary Rohan, Michael Talia and Aliir Aliir.
However, they have named Lance Franklin for his first game post shoulder surgery, while the inclusion of Dane Rampe and Heath Grundy will strengthen their backline.
Jeremy Laidler, Callum Sinclair, Dean Towers, Sam Naismith and Jake Lloyd, as well as 2016 draftee Will Hayward, are also slated for their first official runs for the year.
FRIDAY, MARCH 3
Greater Western Sydney v Sydney, Blacktown International Sportspark, 7.40pm AEDT
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY
1. Phil Davis, 3. Stephen Coniglio, 4. Toby Greene, 5. Dylan Shiel, 8. Callan Ward, 9. Tom Scully, 10. Devon Smith, 11. Will Setterfield, 12. Jonathon Patton, 14. Tim Taranto, 15. Matthew Kennedy, 16. Nathan Wilson, 17. Steve Johnson, 18. Jeremy Cameron, 19. Nick Haynes, 20. Adam Tomlinson, 21. Matt Buntine, 22. Josh Kelly, 23. Heath Shaw, 26. Dawson Simpson, 27. Harrison Himmelberg, 29. Zac Williams, 32. Ryan Griffen, 35. Aidan Corr, 36. Harry Perryman, 37. Rory Lobb, 38. Daniel Lloyd, 40. Adam Kennedy, 41. Shane Mumford
Notable absentees: Matt de Boer, Brett Deledio, Jacob Hopper, Tim Mohr, Tendai Mzungu, Lachie Tiziani, Lachie Whitfield
4. Daniel Hannebery, 6. Jordan Foote, 7. Harry Cunningham, 8. Kurt Tippett, 9. Will Hayward, 10. Zak Jones, 11. Jeremy Laidler, 12. Josh Kennedy, 13. Oliver Florent, 14. Callum Mills, 17. Darcy Cameron, 18. Callum Sinclair, 20. Sam Reid, 21. Jack Maibaum, 22. Dean Towers, 23. Lance Franklin, 24. Dane Rampe, 26. Luke Parker, 27. Daniel Robinson, 28. Nic Newman, 29. George Hewett, 31. Harrison Marsh, 35. Sam Naismith, 38. Colin O’Riordan, 39. Heath Grundy, 40. Nick Smith, 42. Robbie Fox, 43. Lewis Melican, 44. Jake Lloyd
Notable absentees: Aliir Aliir, Shaun Edwards, Isaac Heeney, Kieren Jack, Jarrad McVeigh, Tom Papley, Gary Rohan, James Rose, Michael Talia
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