Vardy to boost Cats’ ruck ranks

Geelong’s ruck stocks are finally beginning to look healthier with the athletic Nathan Vardy set to return from a groin injury in Sunday’s VFL clash at Frankston.
Nanjing Night Net

The reigning premier was forced to pluck a ruckman from outside of its core list – Port Fairy’s Sandy Robinson – last week after Andrew Banjanin was suspended for one match, adding to the injury woes of key personnel Vardy, Hamish McIntosh, Dawson Simpson and Josh Walker, all of whom are expected to return to VFL ranks over the next month.

Robinson battled hard and has been named on an extended interchange this week with Vardy and Banjanin returning.

“We introduced Sandy to a couple of our players [last week]. He’s done a bit of training with our VFL list,” Cats VFL coach Matthew Knights said on Friday. ”It requires drastic measures that we bring someone from outside our list onto our list.”

Vardy has been named at centre half-forward but could pinch-hit in the ruck alongside Banjanin against Frankston’s Russell Gabriel. He is likely to play about 70 per cent of game time.

Vardy is expected to play several matches in the VFL before being considered for a return to AFL ranks.

”He could have played the last couple of weeks, but we decided to be ultra-conservative with him and we’ll continue that through the next few weeks with his VFL program,” Cats coach Chris Scott said.

Vardy played just two matches last season – including the elimination final loss – after struggling with a hip complaint.

McIntosh and Simpson are expected to return in the VFL over the next fortnight.

VFL Round 4 (with tips in capitals)


WERRIBEE TIGERS v Sandringham, Avalon Airport Oval, 1.10pm.

BOX HILL HAWKS v Coburg Tigers, Box Hill City Oval, 2pm.

NORTH BALLARAT v Essendon, Eureka Stadium, 2pm.

CASEY SCORPIONS v Williamstown, Casey Fields, 6pm.


NORTHERN BLUES v Port Melbourne, Preston City Oval, 2pm.

Frankston v GEELONG, Frankston Oval, 2pm.

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