The Courier-Mail

League to let Dock­ers rest in peace

- LAU­REN WOOD

ROSS Lyon’s plan to rest half of Fre­man­tle’s first-choice team against Port Ade­laide in their Round 23 dead rub­ber is set to win league ap­proval.

AFL rules on team se­lec­tion were tight­ened at the end of 2013 af­ter Dock­ers coach Lyon rested 11 play­ers from a game, and the club re­vealed yesterday Lyon had the same num­ber in mind this year.

The AFL was yesterday wait­ing for for­mal no­ti­fi­ca­tion of the rad­i­cal tac­tic as book­ies rushed to make Port Ade­laide a $1.15 favourite to beat lad­der­lead­ing Fre­man­tle ($5.50) at Ade­laide Oval.

Dock­ers chief ex­ec­u­tive Steve Rosich said the play­ers to sit out the game would be de­ter­mined to­day.

“When the play­ers re­turn to the club on Tues­day, our coach­ing team and med­i­cal staff will be able to as­sess the fa­tigue and in­jury sta­tus of our main group,” he said.

An AFL spokesman said af­ter that if teams are play­ing fi­nals, “you have the right to con­sider matches ahead when pick­ing a team’’.

Fre­man­tle sit at the top of the lad­der and can­not be shifted, with Port sit­ting ninth and out of fi­nals con­tention.

Lyon is adamant that rest­ing “fa­tigued” play­ers be­fore the fi­nals will have no dra­matic ef­fect on the com­pe­ti­tion.

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