Eagles move fast on Naitanui AFL cover

West Coast will move quickly to replace injured ruckman Nic Naitanui, with the club bringing forward its list management meeting to try to come up with a long-term solution.

Naitanui is set to spend up to a year on the sidelines after undergoing surgery on Wednesday to repair the ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

Scott Lycett will lead the ruck in Naitanui’s absence, while Mitch Brown or Jonathan Giles are set to be thrust into the back-up role for Friday night’s clash with the Crows in Adelaide.

Although Giles and Brown can fill the gap short term, Eagles coach Adam Simpson knows he also needs a long-term fix.

Such is the urgency to get a plan in place, Simpson has brought forward an already-planned list management meeting by a few days to get the ball rolling.

“We’ve got a list management meeting this week. We brought it forward … to get our heads around what’s going on,” Simpson said.

“We’ve just got to look at where we’re at.

“We obviously lost Cal Sinclair at the end of (last) year and we’re a bit light on for rucks.

“So I would have thought we need to draft a young, developing ruckman to help back up what we’ve got already.”

Contracted GWS ruckman/forward Rory Lobb has reportedly expressed a desire to return to WA, but the Eagles won’t get him for cheap even if the Giants are willing to do a deal.

For the moment, Simpson’s focus is squarely on how to topple the Crows on enemy territory.

A win would secure West Coast a home final, while a loss would likely see them slip to seventh – all but crushing their premiership hopes.

Simpson said Lycett would be fit to tackle the Crows despite copping a knock to his knee in last week’s 25-point win over Hawthorn.

Adelaide will be without star midfielder Rory Sloane, who copped a one-match ban for striking.

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