Hird warms to ruck trio against Pies - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hird warms to ruck trio against Pies

Guy Hand 18/04/2011 09:36:41 PM Comments (0)

Essendon coach James Hird will wheel out the biggest men he has for the biggest test of his AFL coaching.

Hird has signalled he will use three ruckmen in the Anzac Day clash with Collingwood after David Hille impressed during the Bombers' reserves win last weekend.

No.1 ruckman Hille is set to join Paddy Ryder and emerging tall Tom Bellchambers in a three-pronged ruck combination against the premiers, whose sizzling unbeaten start to the season has made them red-hot flag favourites.

Essendon and Hird are also basking in a glorious start to their former playing great's coaching career, with two wins and last weekend's draw against Carlton from their four matches.

With defender Courtenay Dempsey and midfielder Jason Winderlich out for the season after serious knee injuries sustained against the Blues, Hird will have to promote players - and Hille is top of the list.

"We almost did it (played three ruckmen) against Carlton and we're probably lucky we didn't do it because of those two injuries, and it would have cost us the game," Hird told Fox Sports program On The Couch.

"We'd love to try it. Hille is definitely available. He played 95 per cent of the (reserves) game, played really well.

"There's a big chance all three of them will play this weekend."

Hird is also warming to promoting forward Kyle Reimers, who also impressed in the reserves.

He also said the club had not yet decided which course to follow with Winderlich's knee reconstruction surgery.

Hird said Dempsey was certain to have a conventional reconstruction rather than the quick-healing LARS surgery and the club was leaning towards Winderlich taking the same path.

"At the moment both the boys are thinking of going traditional," Hird said.

"Both players have got at least five or six years left in their careers.

"We'd love to have both of them come back this year, but taking the long-term view is more important."

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