Unheralded and inexperienced ruckman Tom Derickx is set to shoulder a big burden against Hawthorn following an injury to Mike Pyke.
Inexperienced Sydney Swans recruit Tom Derickx is set to shoulder a big ruck burden against mighty Hawthorn at ANZ Stadium on Friday.
Derickx, who has played just eight AFL games, looms as Sydney’s main ruckman after regular first choice Mike Pyke was ruled out with a slight hamstring strain.
Forward-ruck Kurt Tippett is a strong chance to play his first senior game of the season this week.
However, Sydney coach John Longmire said it would be too much to ask Tippett to play big minutes in the ruck this week.
Tall utility Lewis Roberts-Thomson, who was dropped last week, is likely to be recalled to help out Derickx.
Derickx, 26, played two games in three seasons with Richmond before joining Sydney after becoming a delisted free agent.
He has quadrupled his tally of senior games since joining Sydney, who needed a backup for Pyke after Shane Mumford headed across town to GWS.
Derickx has played every game this year apart from the season opener against the Giants.
He faces the prospect of battling against David Hale and Ben McEvoy, who have played 300 matches between them, with 191-game Jarryd Roughead another option.
“He has been pretty good,” Longmire said of Derickx.
“In AFL terms, he’s actually quite young and raw.
“He’s been learning a lot over the past couple of months and sometimes the best way of training is playing a bit of senior footy and he’s been learning on the job.
“When Pykey went off just before halftime (against Brisbane last weekend) we thought he did a pretty good job and rucked the entire second half and competed really well.
“He’s certainly going to be tested this week, to come up against McEvoy, Hale, and even at times Roughead.”
Sydney co-captain Kieren Jack said Derickx was very competitive.
“It’s an opportunity for him, and I know he’s the type of kid that will take that on,” Jack said.