AFL 1 year ago

Hawks name Gunston but lose Mitchell

  • Hawks name Gunston but lose Mitchell

    MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 10: James Frawley (L) Sam Mitchell (C) and Jack Gunston of the Hawks sing the club song after winning during the round three AFL match between the Western Bulldogs and the Hawthorn Hawks at Etihad Stadium on April 10, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Hawthorn included spearhead Jack Gunston for Friday night's AFL game against Essendon despite doubts about his injured ankle.

Gunston suffered a knock to an ankle last weekend but has been named for the Etihad Stadium encounter, though the Hawks lost midfielder Sam Mitchell and Taylor Duryea to injury.

Mitchell (back) and Duryea (hip) will join suspended Jonathon Ceglar on the sidelines with the reigning premier recalling Will Langford, Angus Litherland and young ruck Marc Pittonet.

Essendon also made three changes, summoning experienced top-up players James Kelly, Mathew Stokes and Mark Jamar to replace Ryan Crowley (hamstring), Mark Baguley (knee) and Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti, who has been rested.

The last-placed Bombers are long-odds to get near the Hawks in a match most pundits expect to be lopsided - but not Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson.

"We've got to prepare for Essendon's best," Clarkson said on Thursday.

"They have been a bit up-and-down and inconsistent as you'd expect with a younger side.

"But whenever we come up against an opposition we always prepare for their best footy and some of their footy in patches throughout the course of the year has been really, really good."

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