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Geelong have dropped a selection bombshell for their clash with GWS, naming Irishman Oisin Mullin for his AFL debut.
Mullin, 23, who joined the Cats as a Grade B rookie ahead of the 2022 season, has played just three VFL matches since switching from Gaelic football, but the reigning premiers have made changes after a two-game losing streak. saw them lose touch with the top four, naming the County Mayo product alongside Sam De Koning and Ollie Henry.
But speaking to Fox Footy’s AFL 360 PlusIrish cat Zac Tuohy has said his compatriot is more than ready for the highest level.
“He’s an established, top-class, top-class player in Ireland. This isn’t just a young prospect that got discovered. This is a guy who was considered one of the best footballers in Ireland when he left,” Tuohy said.
Tuohy, who is within reach of Jim Stynes’ AFL record for most games played by an Irishman, told AFL Media in March that Mullin’s excellent start to his Gaelic football career before opting for Aussie Rules would be like taking out Nick Dykos. of the AFL.
“I’m not sure people realize how big of a deal Oisin is in Ireland,” Tuohy said at the time.
“He is simply the best young footballer in Ireland. If not the best, certainly one of the best.”
Mullin was named the prestigious GAA Young Footballer of the Year for 2020 before crossing codes, joining Ireland players Zach Tuohy and Mark O’Connor for the Cats for his first AFL game.
“He’s just super explosive,” O’Connor told radio station SEN.
“He’s played fullback and he’ll take a few forwards out of the gun, but his speed is probably the most important thing.
“He would represent everyone here in terms of speed, so it’s very exciting.
“Hopefully he can add attack to his game and get away from midfield.”
Elsewhere, Tom De Koning has been recalled by the Blues for his first appearance since round five amid intense speculation over the unsigned ruckman’s future.
He will join forces with Mark Pitonet against Sydney on Friday night at the SCG, with Tom Hickey returning in time to bolster the injury-hit Swans ruck department in the absence of Peter Ladams (ankle).
Jack Silvagni, Lewis Young and Ed Curnow were all left out of Carlton’s starting 22 in last week’s loss to Collingwood but are possible replacements after being named as emergencies.
GWS have lost a key trio of Josh Kelly, Nick Haynes and Harry Himmelberg to injuries for Saturday’s match against Geelong at GMHBA Stadium.
Callum Brown, Lachie Keefe and Daniel Lloyd return to play in captain Toby Green’s 200th game.
Essendon trio Jayden Laverde, Matt Guelph and Dylan Shiel have all overcome injuries and will return for Saturday night’s clash with West Coast, which will feature starlet Elliott Yeo for just the third time this season.
Key back Tom Barras and former captain Shannon Hearn are also back for the injury-ravaged Eagles after missing last week’s 116-point thrashing of Hawthorn.
Melbourne have recalled Tom Sparrow and James Harms as replacements for Clayton Oliver (hamstring) and Lachie Hunter (suspended) for Saturday’s clash with Fremantle at the MCG.
The Dockers lost veteran forward Michael Walters to a calf injury and took likely debutant Carl Warner on their tour.
St Kilda have named Tim Membry as an emergency for Saturday’s match against Hawthorn at Marvel Stadium, but the experienced forward must pass a final test if he is to be given the green light to return from concussion.
Membree could replace forward Mitch Owens (concussion) while the Hawks are unchanged.
Gold Coast have dropped veteran midfielder Brandon Ellis for Saturday night’s clash with the Western Bulldogs, recalling Joel Jeffrey and Ben Long.
The Bulldogs will be without speedy defender Jason Johannisen (hamstring), with Lachlan McNeill replacing him in the starting 22.
North Melbourne have left troubled utility Tarryn Thomas in the VFL for at least another week, marking his possible return to the AFL in recent days.
Or Zurhar will return from a cheekbone injury for the Kangaroos against Collingwood on Sunday.
Port Adelaide will again be without key forwards Todd Marshall and Charlie Dixon, as well as skipper Tom Jonas, for Sunday’s clash with Richmond.