Saints lose five stars for Hawks clash - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Saints lose five stars for Hawks clash

06/08/2009 05:38:30 PM Comments (0)

St Kilda will field a severely weakened team for Saturday's AFL match against Hawthorn, with captain Nick Riewoldt among five star players out injured.

Riewoldt is out with concussion, with the other omissions being midfield guns Lenny Hayes (back), Leigh Montagna (elbow) and Brendon Goddard (knee), along with tagger Steven Baker (knee).

Interestingly, ruckman Steven King, who had a shoulder pop out in a collision during last round's win over Sydney, was not one of the players left out.

But there were some gains, ruckman Michael Gardiner returning after an injury absence, giving the Saints a three-strong ruck contingent, along with King and Ben McEvoy.

Key defender Zac Dawson is back from suspension to take on his former club for the first time, while midfielder Luke Ball has been reinstated after a stint in the VFL.

Youngster Jack Steven has been named for his debut, with Jarryn Geary the other inclusion.

The rash of injuries will significantly detract from the Saints' chances of going through the season unbeaten, after winning in each of the first 18 rounds.

Saturday's match looms as their hardest test in the run home, with clashes with Essendon, North Melbourne and Melbourne to follow.

The Hawks, who need a win to bolster their dwindling finals hopes, have also had some players forced out by injury, losing Brent Guerra and Xavier Ellis, while Cameron Stokes has been dropped.

Coming into the side are ruckman Robert Campbell, along with Michael Osborne and Travis Tuck.

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