AFL team news

Willie Rioli will take his place in the Eagles side for the first time this season in Friday night's clash against Melbourne.

Rioli has been sidelined with injury and replaces Jake Waterman who has been omitted. 

Eagles coach Adam Simpson said Rioli would start in the forward line to build up his fitness base.

“It was really disappointing on the eve of round one…not to have him available. He’s not a great rehab man. He likes football and he wants to play footy. He’s just a natural footballer. He’s done all the hard work but he just likes to play. We’ve missed him and it’s good to have him back,” Simpson said.

Tom Hickey will return to the ruck department after injury but for the Eagles WAFL side. 

At the Dockers, Connor Blakely will return to their side so will Taylin Duman while Ryan Nyhuis and Travis Colyer have been omitted. 

IMAGE: FILE

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