Prize recruit Steve Johnson will have his first run for the Greater Western Sydney Giants AFL club, who have received glowing praise from Swans’ coach John Longmire.
Former Geelong triple premiership player and 253-game veteran Johnson is one of several quality additions to the side from GWS’ first outing this season.
Co-captains Phil Davis and Callan Ward, Shane Mumford, Heath Shaw, Ryan Griffen and Jeremy Cameron are among the other senior players included, along with rising stars Dylan Shiel, Devon Smith and Toby Greene.
The Swans will give co-captain and midfield ace Kieren Jack his first inter-club run of the campaign, with star spearhead Lance Franklin to play his second Challenge Cup game after making his comeback from a mental health issue in their competition opener against Port Adelaide.
“With the Swans naming a strong line-up as well, it’s going to be a tough and fierce battle, as it always is against our cross-town rivals,” Giants’ coach Leon Cameron said.
His Swans counterpart Longmire was generous in his praise and assessment of the fifth-season Giants’ progress and the growing rivalry between the two Harbour city AFL clubs.
“I think we’re starting to see that already, they are obviously a terrific football team,” Longmire said.
“They are a hard team, they play footy the right way as far as physical pressure around the ball.
“They’ve got some terrific young players and they’ve added again with Stevie J over the break.
“They’ve got some great experience in that group as well, so we’re under no illusions how good a team they are at GWS.”