Eagles superboot Hurn looks good for 2022

·2-min read

West Coast coach Adam Simpson reckons Shannon Hurn is in All-Australian form, with the record-breaking defender a strong chance to play on next AFL season.

Hurn was below his best last year, raising questions about his future.

But the 33-year-old has bounced back strongly in 2021, averaging 27.3 disposals per game and an elite 632m gained per match.

Hurn will equal Dean Cox's games record for West Coast when he runs out for match No.290 in Saturday's clash with St Kilda at Marvel Stadium.

Simpson can see Hurn playing on next year, and was full of praise for the former skipper.

"He's been tremendous," Simpson said.

"Last year, like a lot of our players, (he was) a bit rusty early. But his form this year is back to his All-Australian best.

"His leadership hasn't changed, but his output has probably increased. He's 33. He doesn't look like he's slowing down at all."

Hurn's booming kicks have become even more lethal this year given players are afforded more space when taking a kick-in.

Fellow defender Brad Sheppard will also have reason to celebrate on Saturday when he runs out for his 200th AFL match.

West Coast received a huge confidence boost from last week's 37-point win over Port Adelaide, but they will be without skipper Luke Shuey for several months after he underwent surgery on his troublesome left hamstring.

St Kilda's season is already looking shaky following losses to Melbourne and Essendon, leaving them with a 1-2 record.

Last week's 75-point defeat to Essendon was particularly worrying, with the Saints leaking 22 goals in that match.

Jade Gresham's season-ending Achilles injury has robbed the Saints of an important midfield ace, but the return of ruckman Rowan Marshall against the Eagles is a big boost.

The Saints dropped Shaun McKernan and Mason Wood to make way for defender Jimmy Webster and midfielder Jack Bytel.

West Coast handed forward Jake Waterman a recall.

Marshall has been sidelined with a foot injury since February, and he faces the daunting task of trying to quell in-form West Coast ruckman Nic Naitanui.

"He's in pretty good form, the big fella," Saints coach Brett Ratten said of Naitanui.

"Nic Nat's just prancing around the centre bounces and just the way he's winning centre bounces or contributing to them; he's in good form.

"That's what footy's about, it's about the next challenge around the corner, for Rohan it will be Nic Nat, which there's probably none bigger."