Big five return for Crows - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Big five return for Crows

By Adam Cooper 21/08/2003 08:51:13 PM Comments (0)

Adelaide's defence of second spot received a major boost with five key players named for Saturday's AFL game against the Kangaroos at AAMI Stadium.

Coach Gary Ayres also sent a strong message that a repeat of last week's 37-point loss to Collingwood would not be tolerated, with five players axed.

Adelaide regained forwards Mark Stevens and Scott Welsh, midfielders Chris Ladhams and Tyson Stenglein and defender Kris Massie.

Massie covers for Ben Hart, who again misses out through a thigh strain.

There were also big inclusions for finalists Brisbane, which named key defender Justin Leppitsch for his first game in over a month, and West Coast, which regained ruckman Michael Gardiner and winger Andrew Embley.

Adelaide's big five is a massive boost for the Crows, which is in second spot on percentage and plays ladder leader Port Adelaide in round 22 in a full dress rehearsal for the finals.

Stevens has not played since April because of recurring knee injuries but has impressed in the past three weeks with SANFL club Woodville-West Torrens.

Welsh (back) has missed the past three games and Massie (hip) the past five, but Adelaide is confident the trio won't be underdone.

"We don't think it will be a problem, they will come back into the play pretty quickly," Crows spokesman Barrie Downs said.

"Ladhams and Stenglein missed with illness so that's nothing really, Stevens has been building it up nicely in the local league and it doesn't take Scott too long to get back into it."

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