Sport Giants relish rare AFL stretch at MCG

08:18  24 june  2021
08:18  24 june  2021 Source:   aap.com.au

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GWS will play consecutive regular-season AFL games at the MCG for the first time in the club's existence, with coach Leon Cameron calling it a privilege to adopt the famed venue as a home ground.

a man holding a football ball: Brent Daniels is expected to return from a hamstring injury for the Giants against Hawthorn. © Richard Wainwright/AAP PHOTOS Brent Daniels is expected to return from a hamstring injury for the Giants against Hawthorn.

The Giants were forced to hastily relocate to Melbourne on Tuesday night because of Sydney's COVID-19 outbreak.

Sunday's GWS-Hawthorn match has been shifted from Giants Stadium to the MCG, where Cameron's side trained on Thursday.

GWS, having only played at the MCG once since losing the 2019 grand final, are relishing a testing fortnight that will feature clashes with the Hawks and Melbourne at the home of football.

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"We spoke about that yesterday, it's a privilege to come here. We only get here probably once or twice, at best, a year," Cameron said.

"There's no doubt everyone wants to play at the MCG.

"Our record at the MCG is starting to build ... guys love coming here.

"Our players can't be more excited than running out here, training Thursday then playing Sunday."

The Giants have won three of their past five matches at the MCG, although that stretch includes Richmond's 89-point shellacking in the 2019 grand final.

Cameron was pleased the league opted to schedule the game at the MCG, especially given his side is so inexperienced and youthful.

"I'm not saying anything against Marvel Stadium, we've played some good footy there as well," he said.

"But coming to the MCG is a great opportunity.

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"Every little bit of experience you get (as a young player) helps."

Brent Daniels is tracking to return from a hamstring injury this weekend, while Cameron is yet to make a call on whether veteran ruckman Shane Mumford will dislodge Matthew Flynn or Kieren Briggs from the team.

GWS struggled to adapt to hub life during 2020, a season they started as premiership favourites and finished 10th.

Cameron is confident the current stint - as long as it might last - will prove different.

One notable difference to last year's biosecurity lockdown is that players and staff have enjoyed relative freedom in Melbourne since testing negative for COVID-19.

"We're actually not in a hub, people have to understand that," Cameron said.

"It's just an extended version of travelling.

"We're in really good conditions, a great hotel and really lucky we get to play at the best venue."


*2012-14: 1-6

*2015-17: 0-5

*2018-20: 3-5

*2021: 1-0.

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