Eagles' Harley Reid told to brace for another tag test

Harley Reid must brace for another tagging test as the emerging star prepares to make his return in West Coast's AFL clash with Hawthorn in Perth, Eagles coach Adam Simpson says.

Reid hasn't played since copping a two-match ban for a dangerous tackle during West Coast's 14-point loss to St Kilda on June 1.

Given the Eagles had a bye during that period, it means Reid will have been out of action for 28 days by the time he lines up against Hawthorn at Optus Stadium on Sunday.

Reid was on his way to a match-winning effort against St Kilda before Saints coach Ross Lyon sent tagger Marcus Windhager to the star Eagle.

The move worked a treat, with Reid tallying just three disposals after halftime and giving up four free kicks in the process as St Kilda took control.

Given the huge success of the tag on Reid, rival coaches are expected to follow suit - starting with the Hawks on Sunday.

West Coast's Harley Reid (right)
Harley Reid (r) has come in for plenty of attention from rivals during an impressive first season. (Richard Wainwright/AAP PHOTOS)

"Harley's got to get ready for that, whether it's this week, next week - whenever," Simpson said.

"If they give him attention it's something he can learn from, like last time he played.

"We've got to try and find ways to get him into the game, and with his flexibility going forward as well - we can explore that.

"He's a 19-year-old kid just working his way through it. It'll happen again no doubt, especially if he catches fire like he does sometimes.

"So we'll keep working through it and next time it happens he'll be better at it."

The return of Tim Kelly from a hip injury will help ease some of the load on Reid.

Midfield bull Elliot Yeo has also been named, but his involvement remains in doubt following the death of his father on Monday.

Simpson did his best to play down the tagging talk surrounding Reid.

"This is not unique, so let's just calm down a little bit," he said.

"People get tagged all the time, and teams have ways to help their players. There's nothing new here.

"TK (Kelly) gets tagged every second week.

"You can block from him, you give him the ball, you can play different positions, they can just beat their opponent on their merits.

"Everyone's got a plan B, and Harley hasn't worked through any of that stuff just yet to the point where it's really clear. So that's all."

When asked if players needed to be careful not to over-react physically to taggers, Simpson told reporters: "We're over-reacting now a little bit about it. It's been the fifth question I've been asked about it so let's just be calm."

The Hawks (7-7) enter Sunday's match as one of the form teams of the competition after stringing together six wins from their past seven matches.