There’s quite the resumé waiting in the wings.
All Australians, best-and-fairest winners and prospective centurions headline this week’s potential inclusions for Round 12 against Essendon.
But with late replacements performing strongly and debutants showing promise, is there room for all three star Saints to slot back in?
250 games into his stellar career, Paddy Ryder was given a well-earned rest after playing four games in 18 days.
The 32-year-old was a late change heading into the Saints’ Round 11 clash with Geelong, with wingman Ed Phillips taking the All-Australian’s place in the senior line-up.
Ryder handed the rucking reins back to Rowan Marshall, but is now firming to put one hand back on the wheel ahead of Sunday’s match against Essendon.
The pair have worked exceptionally well together over the previous month, with a sterling performance against Port Adelaide resulting in a combined 40 hit-outs, 25 disposals and four goals the best of the lot.
Now, with the duo likely to reunite on Sunday, they’ll be hoping to recapture that damaging form to get the Saints back on the winners list.
Just like Shane Warne 19 years ago at the WACA, Zak Jones was forced to the pavilion one shy of his major milestone.
The 99-game Saint was managed prior to Round 11, but fortunately, stands a chance in raising the bat for his 100th game in five days’ time.
Jones previously missed St Kilda’s clash with Carlton through hamstring tightness, encouraging Brett Ratten to give the hard-working on-baller a break.
The former Swan sits third for the Saints’ total clearances (40) and tackles (32) from his nine games this season.
It’s that inside grunt and toughness which will be a vital asset for the red, white and black against Essendon, and could play a major role in revving the engine room towards another four points.
It’s been five years since Seb Ross missed consecutive games, but a calf niggle from last fortnight has blemished his relatively clean run with injury.
The No. 6 was not selected as an emergency for Round 11, instead remaining in Noosa as the Saints went head-to-head Geelong.
Ross also sat out last week’s scratch match in the lead-up to Monday night against the Cats, joining several prospective teammates on the sidelines.
The Saints have opted for a cautious approach for the dual-best-and-fairest nearing the pointy end of the season, temporarily placing him and Zak Jones on ice to get them in optimal condition for the final stretch of games.
But with an extended break now on his side, Ross is a frontrunner to return to the senior line-up on Sunday afternoon.
Jack Lonie will continue his mission to re-join the Saints’ small forward stocks after being omitted ahead of Round 8.
The 23-year-old was held over from last week’s modified scratch match against Melbourne along with Ryan Byrnes, Ryan Abbott, Shane Savage and Dylan Roberton.
Jonathon Marsh, Matty Parker and Daniel McKenzie were among the best-on-ground in the 12v12 affair, with their pace, inside work and strength in the contest impressing Development Manager Ben McGlynn.
Round 11 line-up
IN: Bytel (new), Geary
OUT: Jones (managed), Ryder (managed)
|B||Nick Coffield||Callum Wilkie||Jake Carlisle|
|HB||Ben Paton||Jarryn Geary||Dougal Howard|
|C||Jack Billings||Jade Gresham||Josh Battle|
|HF||Nicholas Hind||Tim Membrey||Bradley Hill|
|F||Ed Phillips||Max King||Dan Butler|
|R||Rowan Marshall||Jack Steele||Hunter Clark|
|INT||Jack Sinclair||Dean Kent||Jack Bytel|
|E||Dylan Roberton||Ryan Abbott||Shane Savage|