Hawks welcome back Rioli for Port clash

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Hawks welcome back Rioli for Port clash

Hawthorn have been bolstered by the return of star forward Cyril Rioli for Thursday night’s AFL clash with Port Adelaide.

The Hawks are coming off their bye but welcome back Rioli after he missed their round-14 win over Gold Coast to attend the funeral of his grandfather in the Northern Territory.

He replaces Daniel Howe who was dropped from the side that will be looking to cement its hold on top spot on the AFL ladder against the Power at Adelaide Oval.

Howe is an emergency along with Brendan Whitecross and Angus Litherland.

Port impressed in their 38-point defeat of Richmond last week and coach Ken Hinkley stuck with the same lineup despite some strong performances at SANFL level.

“We’ll reward a winning team, we’ll go in unchanged,” Hinkley said.

“Last week we had a significant result from stoppages with the boys we had out there – we’d expect that hopefully they can give us the same result this week.”

John Butcher, Paul Stewart and Sam Gray are the emergencies for the ninth-placed Power, who must find a way to upset the Hawks to keep their slim finals chances alive.

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