Smith rested, Hunt back for Suns in AFL - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Smith rested, Hunt back for Suns in AFL

Darren Cartwright 15/06/2011 04:52:54 PM Comments (0)

Gold Coast's classy young ruckman Zac Smith will be rested and code-hopper Karmichael Hunt is set to be recalled for Saturday's AFL clash with Hawthorn in Launceston.

Smith's demotion stems from the Suns' revolving door selection policy to prevent their large contingent of youngsters becoming battle-weary.

However, Hunt's recall after just one match is for slightly differing reasons and ahead of time.

The former NRL star was set to play up to three matches in the seconds to get a taste of midfield action.

However, Hunt performed well above expectations last week and, with the Suns' reserves having a bye and a number of players in doubt because of injury, coach Guy McKenna was seriously thinking of giving him a recall.

"He's been averaging three kicks and five handballs (in the seniors) and he went back into the seconds and performed really well and did everything we asked," McKenna said.

"He could probably do with another couple of weeks (in the seconds) and we know he's not going to be perfect, but he's got a great attitude, performed well and certainly given himself a big chance to play."

Smith's season has been nothing short of spectacular and he's considered a big chance to win the AFL's Rising Star award.

However, being the No.1 ruckman has taken its toll on the 21-year-old, who has a minor ankle ailment and a sore hamstring.

"Zac Smith won't train and won't play," McKenna said.

"There's not much point in risking him much further.

"He's a bit sore in the hamstring.

"Maybe the wear and tear is starting to bite into him."

McKenna said veteran Josh Fraser would have to carry the ruck division against the Hawks, with another first-year player Dan Gorringe, 19, as his deputy.

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