Sam Draper
Sam Draper (l) has been ruled out Essendon's clash with West Coast due to knee soreness. Image by Matt Turner/AAP PHOTOS
  • Australian rules football

Outspoken Draper sidelined, Webster back for Saints

Justin Chadwick May 2, 2024

Essendon ruckman Sam Draper has been cut down by knee soreness following his big week in the headlines, while St Kilda defender Jimmy Webster will have the chance to apologise to Jy Simpkin in person after being recalled from his mammoth suspension.

Draper earned the ire of the Bombers’ hierarchy this week after weighing into the future of Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge during a recent podcast.

The 25-year-old was expected to front up for Saturday night’s clash with West Coast in Perth, but the Bombers revealed on Thursday night that Draper is nursing a knee injury that will sideline him for one week.

Essendon welcome back Archie Perkins from a hamstring injury, while Matt Guelfi earned a recall.

West Coast dropped premiership hero Dom Sheed following two quiet games, and Hawthorn recruit Tyler Brockman was also axed.

Jayden Hunt goes out with a knee injury.

Into the side come No.1 draft pick Harley Reid, Tom Barrass, and Noah Long.

Webster copped a seven-week ban during the pre-season after unleashing a devastating bump on North Melbourne’s Simpkin during a practice game.

The resulting concussion ruled Simpkin out of the start of the AFL season, and he’ll come face to face with Webster in Saturday’s clash at Marvel Stadium.

Jimmy Webster
 St Kilda’s Jimmy Webster is set to return from his long suspension. Image by Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS 

St Kilda also welcome back Max King from injury, while Mason Wood and Jack Hayes were other inclusions.

Saints defender Zaine Cordy is being managed and Jack Higgins is out suspended, and the axe has fallen on Anthony Caminiti and Cooper Sharman.

North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson dropped Charlie Lazzaro, Bigoa Nyuon, Will Phillips and Dylan Stephens in favour of Toby Pink, Liam Shiels, Jackson Archer and Jaidyn Stephenson.

Sydney were expected to recall Luke Parker for Saturday’s blockbuster against GWS at the SCG after he racked up 34 disposals in the VFL.

But with the Swans flying high, there was simply no room for the five-time Brett Kirk medallist.

The Swans made just one change, recalling Dane Rampe in place of Braeden Campbell.

GWS welcome back Sam Taylor and Toby Greene in a massive double boost.

Luke parker
 There was no room for Luke Parker to return in an in-form Swans team. Image by James Ross/AAP PHOTOS 

Collingwood will be without Jordan De Goey (groin) and Tom Mitchell (foot) for Friday night’s blockbuster against Carlton at the MCG.

The Magpies have named Lachie Sullivan for his AFL debut, while defender Oleg Markov also comes into the side.

Carlton welcome back Adam Cerra from a hamstring injury, with the former Docker joined in the side by David Cuningham, Alex Cincotta and Orazio Fantasia.

Geelong will be boosted by the return of Tom Stewart for Saturday night’s encounter against Melbourne.

Gary Rohan and Jhye Clark also return for the Cats, but the unbeaten ladder leaders will be without Patrick Dangerfield (hamstring), Brandan Parfitt (managed) and Mark O’Connor (managed).

Fremantle are set to regain spearhead Jye Amiss (concussion) for Sunday’s encounter against Richmond at the MCG, but Sam Switkowski will miss his third straight match with concussion.

Jayden Short is among the inclusions in Richmond’s extended squad.

The Bulldogs get back Jamarra Ugle-Hagan and Tom Liberatore for Sunday’s match against Hawthorn.

Brisbane are set to recall ruckman Oscar McInerney for Sunday’s crunch clash with rivals Gold Coast.