West Coast coach Adam Simpson fears suspended forward Willie Rioli may not play at AFL level again, while Elliot Yeo appears unlikely to be ready for the start of the 2021 season.
Rioli finally had his case heard last month, having been provisionally suspended after allegedly tampering with a urine sample during a drug test after an Eagles training session in late 2019. Weeks later he tested positive for cannabis on game day.
A verdict from an AFL anti-doping tribunal hearing is expected this month and Simpson says he “absolutely” has concerns about the premiership player’s AFL future.
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“We’ll deal with it. He’ll get some clarity in the next couple of weeks and we’ll go from there,” Simpson said.
“It’s a really interesting conversation about what we do once we get the verdict and once we get settled and it’s finalised. We’ll work through it then.
“We’ve been pretty patient considering what’s happened. Some people say that’s on us and on him but it’s been a little bit out of whack.”
Rioli has spent his time in the Northern Territory with family during the process but Simpson hopes a verdict will help him on a personal level, as well as providing clarity on his career.
“That’s really important for Willie’s mental health. It’s been a long time and we’ll find out in the next couple of weeks,” Simpson said.
“All I’m thinking about is Willie’s health and well being and where he is at personally. I can’t control what is happening in the courts and the proceedings. What’s done is done. Now we’re just hoping we get a good hearing and get a good outcome.”
The Eagles trained as a full group for the first time on Monday with midfield gun Elliot Yeo joining them for a warm-up before splitting off to continue a separate running program.
Yeo remains on the mend after missing the last eight games of last season with lingering soreness from osteitis pubis.
Simpson wasn’t willing to put a timeline on Yeo’s return to the senior side, but it appears he’s unlikely to be ready for the start of the 2021 season.
“He’s ticking the boxes. He’s advancing every week. We haven’t had a hiccup yet,” Simpson said.
“He’s on running duties at the moment, so the next phase for him will be change of direction (today). We’ll take that as it comes, but he’s still on track for an early return this season.
“We’re progressing, but his body will tell him where he’s at. He’ll get to a point where he needs to pull back and we’ll keep working through that, so hopefully we’ve pulled the right rein.
“I don’t think we can put a round on it (for Yeo’s return date) but he’ll be right when he’s right.
Samantha Allen, author of “Real Queer America: LGBT Stories from Red States,” finds it striking how differently news organizations and social media users talked about Page vs. Caitlyn Jenner, who came out as transgender in 2015. The deadnaming in Page’s case “was much less frequent, or if it was happening, it was in accordance with GLAAD’s guidelines,” Allen says, pointing to media resources the advocacy group has published in light of Page’s announcement. GLAAD recommends only referring to Page as Elliot Page, except in singular instances when it may be necessary to identify how Page was known to the public before coming out. It also recommends describing Page as a nonbinary, transgender person. “Both transgender and nonbinary are umbrella terms that describe many different types of experiences,” GLAAD wrote. “In page’s case, it can be used like this: ‘Elliot Page describes themself as transgender and nonbinary, meaning that their gender identity is neither man nor woman.’”
Oscar-nominated star Ellen Page has come out as a transgender male named Elliot, six years after he publicly revealed he was gay.
The 33-year-old actor, who has been married to dancer and choreographer Emma Portner since 2018, took to Twitter on Tuesday morning to share an emotional statement with the revelation, writing: ‘Hi friends, I want to share with you that I am trans, my pronouns are he/they and my name is Elliot.
‘I feel lucky to be writing this. To have arrived at this place in my life.’
Elliot, who received an Oscar nod for their role in the hit 2008 movie Juno, asking his followers and fans for ‘patience’, admitting that he is ‘scared’ of the ‘invasiveness, the hate, the jokes, and of the violence’ that he may face moving forward.
‘My job is real, but it is also fragile,’ the actor said, adding: ‘The truth is, despite feeling profoundly happy right now and knowing how much privilege I carry, I am also scared.’
Opening up: Oscar-nominated star Ellen Page (seen in March 2014) has come out as a transgender male named Elliot
‘I feel lucky to be writing this’: The 33-year-old actor took to Twitter on Tuesday morning to share an emotional post with the revelation
Support: Elliot has been married to professional dancer and choreographer Emma Portner since 2018, having come out as gay in 2016
Emotional: Emma took to Instagram shortly after Elliot shared his statement to offer public words of support, writing, ‘Shine on sweet E. Love you so much’
Elliot thanked his loved ones for their support through his journey, expressing his ‘overwhelming gratitude’ for helping him to reach a stage where he felt comfortable to ‘pursue his authentic self’.
Shortly after the actor posted his statement, his wife Emma voiced her public support for Elliot on Instagram, while reiterating her partner’s plea for patience.
‘I am so proud of @elliotpage. Trans, queer and non-binary people are a gift to this world,’ Emma wrote.
‘I also ask for patience & privacy but that you join me in the fervent support of trans life every single day. Elliot’s existence is a gift in and of itself. Shine on sweet E. Love you so much.’
Elliot’s decision to publicly reveal that he is transgender comes almost three years after the couple tied the knot in a secret ceremony, having only been dating publicly for six months.
The actor also gave credit to the trailblazers in transgender community who have already made the world a better place.
They wrote: ‘I feel overwhelming gratitude for the incredible people who have supported me along this journey. I can’t begin to express how remarkable it feels to finally love who I am enough to pursue my authentic self.
‘I’ve been endlessly inspired by so many in the trans community. Thank you for your courage, your generosity and ceaselessly working to make this world a more inclusive and compassionate place. I will offer whatever support I can and continue to strive for a more loving and equal society.’
The actor, who most recently starred in Netflix hit The Umbrella Academy, also revealed changes to his official social media accounts, posting on Twitter under the username @TheElliotPage, and on Instagram as @elliotpage.
Star: Elliot (seen in November 2019) thanked their loved ones for their support through his journey and gave credit to the trailblazers in transgender community who have already made the world a better place
“Gone are the days where you shut down five or six of your players because the finals are around the corner.”
West Coast last week overcame their injury woes to stage a fighting win over St Kilda and this week welcome back Sheed and Brendon Ah Chee, while Bailey Williams was picked to support Nick Naitanui in the ruck and Luke Foley earned an AFL debut.
“If everyone’s fit they’ll play, if anyone’s sore they won’t – that’s sort of our motto this week,” Simpson said.
Meanwhile, the likely return date for Yeo, listed as a two to three week prospect, hasn’t been established.
“It’s a slow process with these groins, and unfortunately I’ve gone through that too back in my playing days. There’s no timeframe, it’s just when it starts to feel a bit better you can advance,” Simpson said.
“We shut him down for a couple of weeks, our plan was to reintroduce him to training and some straight-line running. He hasn’t gone past that phase yet.
“Obviously we won’t risk ‘Yeoey’ for his longer-term future, but at the same time if we can get him up for this final series then we’ll definitely do so.”
North Melbourne dropped Wood and left out the injured midfielder Aiden Bonar while Tom Murphy and Sam Durdin were included.
St Kilda have suffered a crucial injury blow as they prepare for an all-important match against GWS.
Plus Richmond’s premiership chances have been bolstered yet again as a star returns.
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ST KILDA have suffered a fresh injury blow on the eve of a crucial game against GWS, with midfielder Zak Jones to Friday night’s match with a hamstring injury.
Chief Operating Officer of the Saints, Simon Lethlean, confirmed Jones had suffered a minor strain during his side’s loss to West Coast.
“Zak has become an important part of our midfield this year but we know that all teams are dealing with injuries to key players and we will need someone to step up and fill the void,” he said.
“We will weigh up the best option to replace Zak and trust whoever does come in to do the job.”
There has been no indication of whether Jones will be fit for the first week of finals if the Saints were to qualify.
Teammate Dan Hannebery is edging closer and closer to a return, which could come in Round 18 rather than finals as initially thought.
The 29-year-old has battled with injuries consistently throughout his time at St Kilda so far and has been training with ex-Hawk Jarryd Roughead in a Queensland transition hub alongside several AFL stars.
Luke Dunstan and Jimmy Webster both played their first competitive scratch match since suffering injuries, with the pair taking to the field late last week.
Webster suffered a hamstring strain in late July, while Dunstan tore a pectoral muscle in June.
Jonathon Marsh booted five goals in the match while Logan Austin kicked four. Defensive prospects in Jake Carlisle and Dylan Roberton both played in the game, along with Shane Savage, who has struggled to cement his place in the senior side this year.
Jack Bytel could also be in the frame for the Round 18 clash.
Taylor stood down by Swans
RICHMOND star Shane Edwards is set to be available for selection for Saturday’s final-round match against Adelaide.
Edwards rejoined the club in their Queensland hub today after two weeks in a transition hub training with fellow AFL stars such as Gary Ablett and Dan Hannebery.
Richmond’s fitness boss Peter Burge was bullish on Edwards’ chances of a recall on the eve of finals.
“Shane was great today,” he said on Tuesday.
“Shane’s in great shape; he has had a long pre-season back in Melbourne and then two weeks in the quarantine hub training with the boys from the other clubs.
“He’s raring to go, he is desperate to play, and providing he has a good week of training with us, then he will be available for selection on the weekend.”
David Astbury is available for selection this week after playing 48 minutes of a scratch match against Geelong, which follows knee surgery.
The club is aiming to play Dion Prestia in a practice match during the bye week after Round 18 and will make an assessment on his availability for the first final after that.
WEST COAST is still set to be without a number of star players for the final game of the season, but could regain premiership hero Dom Sheed.
Luke Shuey, Elliot Yeo, Jack Redden and Mark Hutchings won’t appear until the finals, with the Eagles set to host a home elimination final in October.
“We’ve got some players to come back in but at the moment we’ve got what we’ve got and we’ll take a lot of confidence from last week,” Simpson told 7News.
“I think we get Dom Sheed back this week. But there won’t be too many guys coming back before finals. It’s another opportunity to see some guys in the midfield who perhaps won’t be there in weeks to come or when we’re full strength.
“So that’s a good opportunity again to get the best out of our players in possibly other roles.
“It was a really proud performance from everyone involved (against St Kilda). We looked dead and buried there a couple of times, which I’m sure everyone would agree with.
“To find that resilience and spirit to get over the line, I was really proud of our leaders in particular. Nic and Tim Kelly were exceptional along with Andrew Gaff. Our forwards and backs held up their end as well.”
GEELONG will have Gary Ablett available for their Round 18 clash with Sydney, with the two-time Brownlow Medalist re-uniting with teammates on Tuesday after a stint in a transition hub.
Coach Chris Scott has also previously indicated skipper Joel Selwood would be right to go for Round 18 after missing four straight matches due to injury.
Ablett in line to play Swans
FREMANTLE could regain top-ten draft pick Griffin Logue for the final match of the season, after not featuring in the senior side since Round 5.
Logue hurt his toe against the Crows, but could return for clash against the Western Bulldogs, in what will be the final game of the year for the Dockers.
“Griffin will be looking to have a really solid week on the training track,” Dockers footy boss Peter Bell said.
“We will then make a call as to whether he is ready to go for the last round.
“I suppose there will be a discussion on whether we would be willing to risk him in that game given his rehabilitation for that toe injury.”
The Dockers could also regain Reece Conca and Brett Bewley if they get through training this week.
“The scans came back all clear and early reports from Reece are that he should be available this week,” Bell said.
“We are hopeful that (Bewley) will get a full week of training and be available for selection.”
Touching gesture criticised
PORT ADELAIDE will be without defender Tom Clurey in Round 18 against Collingwood, but the club is confident he’ll be available for the first week of finals despite sustaining a hamstring injury.
Clurey had work done on his hamstring during his side’s Round 17 win over Essendon and the club provided further detail on the injury during a Tuesday press conference.
“It’s a slight hammy, but it’s on the lesser side of being serious,” Port Adelaide assistant coach Brent Montgomery said on Tuesday.
“He won’t play this week, but we don’t have any doubt that he’ll be available for our game straight after that.”
There are a number of options to replace Clurey for Monday’s game, including Jarrod Lienert, Cam Sutcliffe, Sam Mayes, Miles Bergman and Joel Garner.
Fellow defender Ryan Burton is expected to miss another game with a quad injury. A finals return would be risky given Burton injured himself immediately after returning from another injury earlier in the season.
Forward Connor Rozee is good to go after suffering from cramp during Saturday’s game.
Power crush hapless Bombers
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY captain Stephen Coniglio is available for Friday night’s game against St Kilda, after being omitted for his side’s loss to Melbourne.
The Giants made a staggering eight changes to their side last week, with just one of them forced.
Others available for a return include Lachie Ash, Jye Caldwell, Sam Jacobs and Jackson Hately, who were all omitted.
Forward sensation Jake Riccardi was managed by the club last week and is available for selection, along with Bobby Hill.
Midfielder Callan Ward is a test for the game as well as he recovers from a gruesome dislocated finger, which he suffered in Round 13’s loss to West Coast.
The club expects debutant Jack Buckley to be available, overcoming delayed concussion after Round 17.
‘Indictment on the Giants’
WESTERN BULLDOGS defender Easton Wood is in the frame for selection ahead of Sunday night’s huge game against Fremantle.
The 31-year-old injured his hamstring against Geelong in Round 14 and was listed as a ‘test’ for last week’s game against Hawthorn.
“Easton continues to make great progress following his hamstring injury,” medical services manager, Chris Bell, said.
“He completed a game-like rehab session on the weekend and is planned to fully train this week.
“We’ll determine his availability towards the back-end of the week.”
ADELAIDE expect backman Daniel Talia to return for his 200th AFL game on Saturday against Richmond.
Talia was managed for the Crows’ Round 17 win over Carlton with a knee injury but is expected to play now having had an 11-day break.
Spearhead Taylor Walker is also slated to play what could be his final game for the Crows. He didn’t travel to Queensland for the win over Carlton.
“Tex was close last week. He trained really well, his change of direction was good,” club doctor Steve Saunders said.
“He had a little bit of trouble with punch kicks and long kicks
“It was enough trouble for us to think it was a more prudent course to wait until this week, but he’ll certainly be at his best.”
NORTH MELBOURNE have a plethora of options at the selection table ahead of their final game of the season against West Coast.
As the team has struggled for form, the best 22 has undergone constant change, with Rhyce Shaw every chance to make sweeping changes once more.
Jack Mahony is in the frame as he recovers from a shoulder injury, while Majak Daw is also available after coming out of the side recently.
Marley Williams is another defender ready to return, along with Sam Durdin.
Port Adelaide recruit Jasper Pittard can return if needed, along with defensive midfielder Tom Murphy and on-baller Paul Ahern.
Kangaroos have no system
ESSENDON could regain defender Michael Hurley for its final match of the season against Melbourne on Saturday.
Hurley injured his ankle against Richmond before aggravating it against Geelong in Round 16.
Jayden Laverde, Aaron Francis and Ned Cahill all pulled up well in returns from injury in a Friday scratch match against St Kilda as well, according to the club.