Monday’s Anzac Day blockbuster could have an American flavour for the first time, with Collingwood ruckman Mason Cox pushing for an AFL debut.
The former Oklahoma State University basketballer was elevated off the rookie list last week and responded with a 51-hitout performance in the VFL.
Pies skipper Scott Pendlebury nominated Cox and inside midfielder Rupert Wills, who gathered 34 disposals in the same game, as candidates for selection as the 1-3 Magpies look for a winning combination against Essendon.
“Rupert Wills and Mason Cox have been outstanding since they’ve come to the football club,” Pendlebury said.
“Mason’s a unique story coming from America and he showed a bit in the NAB Challenge.
“And Rupert’s a contested ball animal – you certainly don’t have to worry about his effort.
“So both of those guys have been super impressive and if they were to get a game on Anzac Day what a debut that would be.”
Seven Collingwood players have the distinction of making their AFL debuts on Anzac Day.
Pendlebury said the significance of the occasion wouldn’t be lost on Cox despite his nationality.
“It’s obviously a fair learning curve for Mason this week isn’t it?,” he said.
“He’ll be excited. He’s an intelligent guy so he probably knows a fair bit about it already.
“It would be a fair story if he debuted.”
Travis Cloke (elbow), Ben Reid (knee) and Ben Sinclair (concussion) all suffered injuries in the Pies’ loss to Melbourne and must prove their fitness.