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Three debutants to face Dogs

Luke McManus, Sydney Swans Media  March 30, 2017 6:25 PM

Team Selection - Rd 2, 2017 Sydney Swans coach John Longmire names his final side for the clash against the Western Bulldogs, thanks to Centrum.
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Nic Newman will make his debut against the Western Bulldogs on Friday night.

The Sydney Swans have named three fresh faces for Friday night's blockbuster clash against the Western Bulldogs.

Coach John Longmire believes previous experience will count for plenty when Nic Newman, Robbie Fox and Will Hayward make their debuts against the Bulldogs.

The trio have been selected to replace Dane Rampe (arm), Dan Robinson (shoulder) and Dean Towers (omitted) for the Round 2 blockbuster clash at Docklands Stadium.

Newman and Fox were drafted as mature-age players, hardened recruits thanks to time spent with the VFL before finding themselves on the Sydney Swans’ list.

Newman spent two seasons with the Frankston Dolphins, winning the Fothergill-Round Medal in 2014 as the best young player, before the Swans selected with the 35th Pick in the Rookie Draft only a few months on.

Over the past two seasons the 24-year-old defender reached a high level of consistency in the NEAFL, last year’s performance earning him a spot in the Team of the Year, best-on-ground honours in the Grand Final and new two-year deal topped off with senior elevation.

Longmire says Newman, who’s possesses a penetrating left boot, will be a better for the journey.

“Whilst he’s a little older and he’s had to wait a little longer than others, he’s earnt the right to play AFL football,” coach John Longmire said in this week’s Centrum Team Selection.

“He’s given himself every chance, he had a wonderful year last season and a solid pre-season so it’s good that he’s got his opportunity.”

Fox’s pathway was similar, having spent two years at Coburg before catching the eye of the Swans’ recruiters.

Drafted with the 34th Pick in this year’s Rookie Draft, the 23-year-old utility featured in this year’s JLT Community Series which the coach says should also hold him in good stead.

“They’ve had a taste of what it’s all about, they don’t come in wondering what’s about to hit them,” Longmire added.

“They know the pressure is on, they know we’re playing an A-grade team and I’m sure they’ll enjoy their experience as long as they play a real hard, fierce game of footy.”

Hayward, a second-round selection in last year’s National Draft, managed to play in the Swans’ last two JLT Community Series matches before being named as an emergency for the season opener.

Drafted for his speed and skill, Hayward will be looked upon to apply much-needed pressure in the forward line to combat the Western Bulldogs’ renowned ball movement from defence.

To view the full squad, click here.