AFL SUNS TRAINING CHINA
Gold Coast forward Peter Wright's late bid to play in the AFL's China game has fallen short but the Suns remain determined to seek redemption for last year's Shanghai drubbing.
Coach Stuart Dew has ruled out the 203cm Wright for Saturday's clash with Port Adelaide in Shanghai, leaving the Suns lacking tall timber in front of goal.
Eighteen-year-old defender Jacob Heron will make his AFL debut, replacing suspended forward Sam Day, while the Power will line up unchanged from their Showdown triumph over Adelaide.
A surprise inclusion in Gold Coast's travelling party, Wright on Thursday trained with the Suns in oppressive heat at Jiangwan Stadium.
Dew later said the 21-year-old wasn't ready to play, having missed the start of the season with a calf injury.
"We tried to be transparent around he needed another run for his form but we also brought him," he said.
"We know we could play him if we need to.
"In an ideal world, he comes in in really good form but we know he probably needs another run."
Dew had all but ruled Wright out of the Shanghai game after the Suns' 69-point loss to Melbourne last weekend.
But with spearhead Tom Lynch (knee) still unavailable, Day's suspension for striking almost forced the club's hand.
Ruckman Jarrod Witts could spend more time up forward while rookie Brayden Crossley has impressed as a marking target in his first two AFL games.
Veteran midfielder David Swallow sat out the final quarter against the Demons but Dew said he was fine to play in the rematch of the inaugural Shanghai fixture.
The memory of last year's 72-point belting at the same venue remains a sore point for the Suns, who have lost their past three games.
But they received a boost on Monday night from the tribunal, with co-captain Steven May avoiding suspension for making contact with an umpire.
May said it had been an anxious 48 hours before the Suns departed for Shanghai on Tuesday.
"I was texting Dewey about 'am I in or not?' and we had to pull the tribunal forward to Monday so I would know, otherwise I wouldn't be coming over," he said.
"I got a fair hearing and I was cleared to play and copped my fine, so I was stoked."
The lead-up to last year's game was plagued by worries over smog, the surface at Jiangwan Stadium and possible sandstorms but it has been largely smooth sailing this time around.
"Naturally I hadn't been here so I didn't know what to expect but last year the weather was amazing on game day," May said.
"We had training today and there were no problems there.
"There probably was a little bit of (novelty) then just because it was such a big historic moment but now we're here for four points."