Swans mull changes, Jack in box seat

Rob Forsaith
Kieren Jack is likely to return to Sydney's AFL line-up to play West Coast at the SCG

Match committee meetings have rarely been straightforward at the SCG this AFL season, but that will ring particularly true ahead of Friday night's blockbuster between Sydney and West Coast.

The Swans, who are riding a five-match winning streak and sit third on the ladder, are yet to name an unchanged team this year.

That trend will almost certainly continue in round 13, with coach John Longmire mulling how to stop the ladder-leading Eagles' 10-match winning streak.

Veteran Kieren Jack is likely to return from a hip injury, while defender Aliir Aliir could possibly be recalled to help shut down one of the league's most potent forward lines.

Jack missed the Swans' last-start win over St Kilda, in which they kicked the opening nine goals of the game.

The 30-year-old was badly restricted by a hip injury last year, but Longmire indicated the current problem is nowhere near as serious.

"He's pulled up well," Longmire said on Wednesday.

"It was important he didn't play last week, it gives him the best possible chance of playing this week. He's not over the line, he's got to train, but he's a chance.

"He ran Monday and ran well, so that's a good sign that he's actually in a lot better shape than last year."

Longmire was understandably giving little away ahead of a "massive" game against the "best team in the competition".

Counterpart Adam Simpson has done something similar this week, when asked how the Eagles' forward line will be rejigged in the injury-enforced absence of Jack Darling.

Aliir, who has impressed in the NEAFL during recent weeks, could help bolster Sydney's defence if the Eagles continue to employ a tall forward line.

The 23-year-old could also be thrust into the ruck to offer Swans big man Callum Sinclair some support against former teammates Nic Naitanui and Scott Lycett.

"Aliir is a possibility," Longmire said.

"Harry Marsh can play taller.

"They might have lost Darling but they'll be very strong ... they're sitting on top of the ladder for a reason.

"Naitanui is back to his best ... but Sinclair has been going quite well and our boys at ground level have been having a real crack."

Youngster George Hewett is set to be given another tagging assignment, but Longmire admitted it would be tricky to identify the Eagles' most dangerous threat in the engine room.

"We expect all of our midfielders to have run-with roles when the opposition has got it," he quipped.