Franklin's no risk, says Hawks coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Franklin's no risk, says Hawks coach

By Greg Buckle 08/07/2011 05:43:13 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn's long injury list means resting star forward Lance Franklin is simply out of the question.

Coach Alastair Clarkson says he's not interested in giving Franklin a break ahead of the club's round-17 bye despite the two-time All-Australian suffering a minor ankle injury in last weekend's loss to Collingwood.

The Hawks sit fourth on the AFL ladder with a 10-4 win-loss record ahead of Saturday's round-16 clash in Launceston with 15th-placed Brisbane.

"Just for the sake of resting because we have got the extra two weeks, there's probably no point really," Clarkson said on Friday.

"We're more keen on trying to get this win.

"Brisbane had a really good victory over Port Adelaide last week so we are going to have to play well and we want our better players out on the field.

"It's probably not a case of running a risk.

"He was able to run pain-free yesterday and twist and turn and do everything that we needed him to do, so we'd expect that he's going to be able to play tomorrow and cope quite well with what was a very minor ailment."

Franklin reportedly trained well with the Hawks in a light session in Launceston on Friday afternoon.

The big Hawk has kicked 43 goals this year, two behind Richmond's Coleman Medal pacesetter Jack Riewoldt.

Hawthorn's injury problems are also having an impact in defence, where Josh Gibson will concede 6cm and 12kg to Brisbane skipper Jonathan Brown.

"Josh has been our best defender throughout the course of this year and he's one of the few tall ones we've got left," Clarkson said.

"They probably need Brown to have a fair influence on the game to win.

"We're going to be relying on Josh and others to try to limit the impact that he'll have."

David Hale's awkward attempt to play the role of loose man in defence against Collingwood suggests Clarkson may need to look elsewhere for a big man to double-team Brown.

Max Bailey would be an interesting choice after the ruckman gave Gibson a black eye in a marking contest last weekend.

"It doesn't usually come from your own man. That has created a bit of humour within the club," Clarkson grinned.

Clarkson said veteran Brisbane onballer Simon Black formed a dangerous combination with Matthew Leuenberger, who's second in the AFL for hit-outs this season.

Hawthorn should have an edge in midfield where Sam Mitchell's averaging a league-leading 32.2 possessions per game, while skipper Luke Hodge had 40 touches against the Magpies.

Hawthorn recalled Xavier Ellis and Riley Milne.

Chance Bateman (ankle) and Jordan Lisle (cheekbone) have joined Hawthorn's long injury list which includes small forward Cyril Rioli, ruck/forward Jarryd Roughead and key defenders Stephen Gilham and Ben Stratton.

Brisbane dumped Mitchell Golby and Rohan Bewick and recalled James Hawksley and Todd Banfield.

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