AFL teams; Jamarra Ugle-Hagan won’t play for the Western Bulldogs against St Kilda


The Western Bulldogs will be without star forward Jamarra Ugle-Hagan for Thursday’s crunch clash with St Kilda after being withdrawn from the side for personal reasons.

Ugle-Hagan, who was his team’s best player kicking three goals in last Friday’s loss to Essendon, has been replaced by big man Rory Lobb who was cleared of any injury despite hurting his ankle in the VFL last weekend.

Lobb has played just the single game at AFL level this season but has been recalled to keep the Bulldogs’ forward line tall in the hopes of stretching the St Kilda defence.

Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge forecast a “period of time” in the VFL for midfielder Caleb Daniel and has been true to his word by not recalling the All-Australian despite needing a midfield replacement for Tom Liberatore.

Instead Beveridge has included both James Harmes and Riley Garcia to bolster his ball-winning stocks for Liberatore who was put in concussion protocols following a concerning collapse during last Friday’s loss to Essendon.

The duo had 72 disposals between them in the VFL last week. Daniel has been listed as an emergency.

Daniel, the 2020 Bulldogs best and fairest who was playing his first VFL game in seven years last week, had 26 disposals playing across halfback, but it wasn’t enough to get back in a side Beveridge remains adamant is paying for “now” and not the future

“I’ve never been a coach who has tried to leverage for time – I’ve always been a coach for the now, and I believe in our group and trying to make every post a winner,” he said on Tuesday.

“What you’re seeing with us at the moment is two experienced players here and there, not getting a game due to form or there’s a preference that some guys who are pushing for selection deserve a game in front of them.”

Oskar Baker has been omitted for the Bulldogs.

Zak Jones will return for St Kilda, coming off a gut-wrenching one-point loss to GWS last weekend in Canberra, after a last quarter fightback, as the single change to the side which will be without gun forward Max King who has a knee injury.

Coach Ross Lyon opted not to bring back defender Dougal Howard who returned in the VFL last weekend from a pre-season hamstring injury. He’s been listed as an emergency.