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In the mix: JLT3

hawthornfc.com.au  March 8, 2017 4:30 PM

AFL 2016 Rd 16 - Port Adelaide v Hawthorn

After a slight injury setback, Kaiden Brand will be hoping to make his first pre-season appearance against the Power this Sunday.

The Hawks approach Sunday's clash against Port Adelaide with almost every player on the list available for selection.

The injury list features only one player, ruckman Jonathan Ceglar, who continues to recover from an ACL rupture suffered towards the end of last season. 

This is an ideal situation for Hawthorn's match committee to be in, but it also means that they will face some tough decisions.

To add to the selection headaches this week, numbers will be cut down to the regular 22-man squad size after the opening two JLT Series games allowed for 26 per side. 

Hawks fans will be expecting the return of senior players who played the pre-season opener against Geelong before being rested for the clash against North Melbourne. These names include Ben McEvoy, Shaun Burgoyne, Paul Puopolo, Grant Birchall and Isaac Smith

New Hawk Ricky Henderson is also hoping for his first hit out in the brown and gold, after being a late exclusion from JLT2 as he and his wife welcomed their first child.

Promising young players Jonathan O'Rourke and Kaiden Brand are also yet to make an appearance during the JLT series. With both  players now deemed fit by Elite Performance Manager Andrew Russell, that’s two more names to add to the selection table.

Brand debuted for the Hawks last year and went on to play 11 games for the club, showing plenty of promise in a key defensive post.

O'Rourke, who enters his third year at the Ricoh Centre and fifth in the league, played seven games last year, averaging 14.7 disposals.

Read: What kind of Port Adelaide line up might the Hawks face on Sunday?

Hawthorn are yet to debut any of their 2016 draftees throughout the JLT series, however Harry Morrison, James Cousins, Mitchell Lewis and Ollie Hanrahan have all been working tirelessly on the training track in a bid to insert their names into the selection frame.

The 22-man squad will fly to Adelaide on Saturday, before heading south to the town of Noarlunga for their Sunday afternoon clash.