Bulldogs welcome Minson for AFL clash

The AFL should look to change the rules around contact between players and umpires in the wake of the Will Minson incident, according to Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge.

Minson was suspended for four weeks by the VFL tribunal for making contact with a field umpire while playing for Footscray in the VFL last week.

He appealed the decision on Thursday and was reprimanded and fined $7500, but is now free to play against in-form Greater Western Sydney on Saturday.

Beveridge was delighted with the ruckman’s availability, but added the rules might need a wording review into the future.

“I suppose there are different levels of contact,” Beveridge said.

“I’ve touched umpires on the shoulders and put my arms on them at different times. There is always a place for that.

“That shouldn’t change. There should continue to be a really strong level of rapport between players and umpires.

“Whether we need to change the wording in the rules, I don’t know but the great thing is everyone will learn from it and we will move on and hopefully the game is better for it.”

Minson was selected in the side to take on the Giants prior to his appeal, the Dogs looking to negate the form and influence of rival ruckman Shane Mumford.

“(Minson) has done really well at VFL level over the last few weeks and he had earned his spot back, so it is a great result and the balance of the team going into tomorrow is pretty good,” said Beveridge.

Having lost their past three games, the Bulldogs have made six changes as they seek a return to form.

Defender Joel Hamling will make his debut while Jake Macrae, Nathan Hrovat, Jarrad Grant, Lukas Webb and Minson all return for the clash.

The match will see the Dogs pitted against former captain Ryan Griffen for the first time since Griffen was traded to the Giants for Tom Boyd.

Beveridge expects a frosty reception for the former captain who left under acrimonious circumstances last year.

“He is on the record as saying it might spur him a bit, hopefully it doesn’t,” said Beveridge, who believes the fans will show their “emotion and energy” for the Bulldogs.

The coach said Boyd was “eager and keen” to play against his former side. The forward was subbed off against Melbourne last week, having been sick in the build up to the clash against the Demons.

“He has given us a great contribution with his competitiveness and he will bring that again tomorrow”.

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