HFNL teams round 5 | Seagulls flock back in

RETURN: Port Fairy captain Daniel Nicholson will make his way back from a broken fibula this Saturday. Picture: Morgan Hancock

RETURN: Port Fairy captain Daniel Nicholson will make his way back from a broken fibula this Saturday. Picture: Morgan Hancock

PORT Fairy captain Daniel Nicholson headlines a trio of inclusions for the Seagulls ahead of their big clash with North Warrnambool Eagles.

Nicholson will play his first game since he broke his fibula against Hamilton Kangaroos on April 8.

Xavier McCartney, who also hasn’t played since the round one clash, will return from a shoulder injury while defender Sam Rudolph is set to play his first game for 2017.

Port Fairy coach Brett Evans said Rudolph’s delayed start to the year was primarily about resting the experienced star.

“He’s been training with us from the preseason, but we just had to monitor him,” Evans said.

“We’re just trying to look after him and make sure he’s there at the end of the season.

“(Nicholson and McCartney) both probably could’ve played against Terang Mortlake, but knowing we had the week off following, we just gave them that extra week.

“Now we know for sure – I think Dan was a five or six week injury, and as it’s turned out he’s had seven weeks.”

But the Seagulls’ bad run with injuries has claimed Kaine Mercovich (knee) and Guy Phelps (broken fibula), while Jordan Scott was omitted.

South Warrnambool's Ben Thornton

North Warrnambool Eagles named an extended bench for the clash, with Tim Condon, Luke Williams and Louis Kew coming into the mix.

Another star defender is set to play his first match for the season, with Daniel Seehusen named to line up for the Magpies when they take on an undefeated South Warrnambool at Friendly Societies’ Park.

Daniel Seehusen

Daniel Seehusen

Charlie Bradshaw is also an inclusion, while Luke Clarke and Isaac Stephens are the outs.

Hamilton Kangaroos will welcome the return of full forward Adam Campbell (ankle) for its clash with Koroit after he was a late withdrawal against Warrnambool last round, while fellow former Fremantle Docker Daniel Gilmore is also set to make an appearance.

Josh Pepper is back after one week in the reserves, while Scott Richards will make his senior debut for the club after a best-on-ground performance in the reserves last week.

The Saints have named an unchanged line-up.

Terang Mortlake has made two forced changes after its stirring win over Port Fairy, with Luke Vogels (unavailable) and co-captain Tyson Densley (back) out.

It has opened the door for under 18.5 player Daniel Kenna to step up, while Chris Baxter will return from a calf injury.

“It’s good to have him back; he’s a good replacement for Luke,” Bloods coach Michael Sargeant said.

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