Nick Riewoldt
Nick Riewoldt

St Kilda captain Nick Riewoldt will play against North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium on Sunday, according to rookie coach Scott Watters.

The power forward - who has kicked 28 goals in his last six matches against the Kangaroos - will lead his side out in the match despite speculation he would miss with calf tightness.

Although forward Beau Wilkes was called into the Saints' squad of 25 on Saturday as a replacement for Farren Ray, Watters was insistent that Riewoldt would play in the twilight match.

"He wouldn't be playing if there was an injury," Watters said on Saturday.

"He's fine, he's good to go. We're really pleased that Nick's available, but we've been pretty focused on our team results this year, and our forward line playing as a team.

"He's a key ingredient and a key part of that."

The Saints have brought in ruckman Rhys Stanley for the match, with livewire forward Terry Milera dropped.

Milera is joined in the emergencies by another small forward who has impressed in 2012, Ahmed Saad.

Both are playing their first year of senior football and Watters has used the opportunity to give them a rest while the club's injury list is minimal.

"We're pretty close to having a full list available and we think we've really developed our depth this year," he said.

"It might just give us the opportunity when those players are feeling a little tired or fatigued to give them a break. Terry (Milera) has probably fallen just outside of that at the moment."

Watters is wary of a North Melbourne side who were 'terrific' in their 32-point win against Adelaide last week.

Both sides have won six matches from 12 this season and the match shapes as an 'eight-pointer' in the race for a berth in the finals.

"For us, and for North, (this game) is an opportunity," he said.

"An opportunity to get another four points, an opportunity to build up momentum on the back of a break.

"They're a very good side in very good form. They like to play a high possession brand of football. So we're really looking forward to a good contest against a side that's in really good form."


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