Port’s AFL defensive stocks take COVID hit

Port Adelaide have lost two defensive linchpins to COVID-19 protocols with Darcy Byrne-Jones and Tom Clurey ruled out of Sunday’s vital AFL clash against Gold Coast.

The defensive duo will be among four changes to a 12th-placed Power line-up seeking to keep in touch with the top eight.

Influential midfielder Zak Butters (knee) and mid-season draftee Brynn Teakle (broken collarbone) are sidelined for the Adelaide Oval fixture against the 11th-placed Suns, who are one win ahead of Port on the ladder.

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Power stalwart Travis Boak returns after being ruled of last week’s win against Sydney because of the AFL’s health and safety protocols surrounding COVID-19.

And while key backman Trent McKenzie will replace Clurey, Port coach Ken Hinkley says he’s still mulling over the other replacements.

“We will work our way through that,” Hinkley told reporters on Friday.

Hinkley has named two sons of premiership players in Port’s extended squad – Taj Schofield, son of Jarrad, and Jase Burgoyne, the son of Peter.

But the Power coach was tightlipped whether they would make their AFL debuts against the Suns.

“They are really close (to selection), both boys are doing really well,” he said.

“Both boys have got what we consider really bright futures.

“They have got an opportunity, I am sure, at some stage coming. Whether that is this weekend we will work through that.”

Steven Motlop and Miles Bergman were also included in the Power’s extended squad, with the team to be finalized on Friday evening.

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