AFL 2024: Taylor Adams to debut for Sydney

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Sydney coach John Longmire says the club is still “working through” the situation that led to forward Sam Wicks missing last week’s loss to Richmond as he confirmed high-profile recruit Taylor Adams would make his club debut against West Coast in Gather Round.

Wicks is in selection calculations for the clash having been removed from the squad last weekend and kept in Sydney amid allegations of a dispute with teammates over a personal matter.

A club investigation cleared players of wrongdoing and Longmire was confident the issue hadn’t affected team morale after losing their first match of the season to the Tigers.

“Nah, we’ll get on with playing footy and that’s our focus this week,” he said on Wednesday.

“He’ll be available for selection, we’re working through that at the moment.

“He’s back in the squad, he’s back among the training group. I’m not going to go into the details other than to say we decided last week to pick the team that we thought was best to go to Melbourne and take on the Tigers.”

Changes are in line for the showdown with the Eagles after veteran defender Dane Rampe was ruled out with a hamstring injury that could sideline him for a month.

The door has been opened to former Collingwood best and fairest Adams, who missed the Magpies’ premiership win last season through injury that also hampered his pre-season.

But after getting through 2½ quarters in the VFL on the weekend, Adams showed no ill effects of the medial ligament in his left knee suffered during a practice match against Brisbane in March.

That came after a pre-season training block that impressed Longmire, who said Adams would add vital experience to his midfield group.

“He had a great pre-season. From the moment he walked into the place he provided Luke Parker and Callum Mills with extra help in terms of leadership in our midfield group,” Longmire said.

“We have a good young midfield group, but they are still young and still learning, so to be able to add another experienced head to that off the field in a meeting sense and on the field, you can see the group learning off him all the time.”

Adams’ inclusion could make it more difficult for Wicks to get back into the team, with Harry Cunningham also returning following his time off for a concussion suffered in an incident that resulted in a four-week ban for Essendon’s Peter Wright.

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