Brisbane coach Justin Leppitsch says he is thinking about using a tagger to nullify North Melbourne skipper Andrew Swallow’s impact on his AFL return.
Andrew Swallow’s return for North Melbourne this weekend is clearly giving Brisbane coach Justin Leppitsch food for thought.
The Kangaroos’ skipper will return to the AFL 295 days after rupturing his achilles in round 18 last year as North aim to get back to winning ways against the bottom-placed Lions.
Swallow feels it could take up to a month to get back to his best but Leppitsch isn’t expecting any rustiness from the 26-year-old.
“Adam Goodes did okay with his first game or two back, didn’t he?,” Leppitsch said.
“Sometimes, first game back, you’re at your freshest.
“It’s often as the grind hits you from a long-term injury (that you might struggle). We’ve got to treat it that he’s going to play the same way as he did when he left the game … which is a pretty high standard.”
So fearful of Swallow’s impact is Leppitsch, he admitted it’s likely the Lions will send out a tagger to spoil his return to action.
But he added the Kangaroos’ midfield is a tricky one to tie down with Brent Harvey, Jack Ziebell, Ben Cunnington and Nick Dal Santo also needing close attention.
“I think he’s a head-to-head match-up this week,” the Lions coach said of Swallow.
“That’s the challenge with good midfields … you’ve got some pretty good players in there. You’ve always got contingencies for that player that gets off the chain.
“Whether we need to activate those, that’ll happen throughout the game.”