From Kaurna Country to Wurundjeri Country, St Kilda are riding high off the back of a thrilling 21-point victory over Adelaide last week to put the club just a game outside the top four.

Now, as Sir Doug Nicholls Round rolls on, the Saints will return to Marvel Stadium to face a dangerous North Melbourne side who competed strongly against an undefeated Narrm outfit last week.

With Brett Ratten’s side looking secure three straight wins as it heads into the bye, there will be some fierce competition for spots with strong showings at both the AFL and VFL level.

Hunter Clark

Hunter Clark could play his first game of AFL footy this season. Photo: AFL Photos.

Classy with ball in hand and silky smooth without it, Hunter Clark will be keen to return to the AFL level for his first game of 2022 after recovering from an AC joint injury suffered in the pre-season.

The 23-year-old Saint has been plying his trade for Sandringham over the last three weeks, working back to full match fitness before putting forward his case last Sunday with a 31-disposal, seven-clearance performance against Carlton.

Known for his skilful intercept skills, pressure-relieving rebounds and crucial one-percent plays across half-back, Saints fans would welcome Clark back into the red, white and black.

Dan Butler

Dan Butler will be keen to return to the fold against North Melbourne. Photo: Lucy Edwards.

After returning to action through the VFL last game, Dan Butler will be eyeing off this weekend at Marvel Stadium as his chance to pull the St Kilda guernsey back on.

While Achilles soreness had kept the small-forward out of action against Geelong, Butler took the field at Ikon Park for Sandringham and didn’t miss a beat, walking away with a goal and six inside-50s and five tackles.

With Jack Higgins sidelined for another week, the Saints could look to bring Butler in to add further pressure and chase to their forward line.

Ryan Byrnes

Ryan Byrnes has been impressing for the Zebras. Photo: Lucy Edwards.

Having been on the cusp of breaking back into the St Kilda 22, Ryan Byrnes will be hoping that Sunday afternoon provides that opportunity.

After playing the first two games of the season at senior level, Byrnes has been unable to shake the emergency vest, holding the role in every game since.

The 21-year-old has been knocking on the door for the past few weeks, with his last VFL game against the Blues seeing the zippy midfielder collect 30 disposals, eight marks and five tackles in an impressive display after he was straight off the plane from Adelaide.

Now with form and confidence under his belt, Byrnes will be firmly putting his hand up for selection ahead of Sunday’s clash with the Roos.

In Contention

Jarrod Lienert has been close to selection over the past few weeks. Photo: Lucy Edwards.

Similar to Byrnes, Jarrod Lienert arrived at Ikon Park straight from South Australia after he was listed as an emergency for the AFL.

Impressing with 24 disposals (23 of which were kicks), seven marks, five rebound-50s and five inside-50s, the former Port Adelaide backman is an option for the Saints to bolster their defensive stocks against the Roos.

Tom Highmore is another defender who continues to put together a strong case to return to the senior side, with Sunday’s outing seeing the Canberra native finish with 26 disposals, 17 marks, five tackles and four rebound-50s.

After having a strong start to his AFL career in 2021, the return of BenPaton and emergence of Josh Battle as an intercept defender has seen Highmore’s opportunities at the top level limited.

In the same boat as Highmore is Jack Bytel, who has been impressing consistently in the VFL with big numbers that have led Sandringham to three straight wins.