Kieren Jack in action against GWS. Photo: Getty Images
Forget the Battle of the Bridge, Canberra could host the Battle of the Lake with Sydney Swans co-captain Kieren Jack throwing his support behind playing the Sydney derby against Greater Western Sydney at Manuka Oval for AFL premiership points.
And the son of former rugby league star Garry Jack thinks the Swans' star recruit Lance Franklin will play in next week's NAB Challenge game at Manuka Oval if he pulls up well from their intra-club trial on Wednesday night.
The Swans and Giants will have their historic first meeting in the nation's capital in the pre-season competition next Thursday at 7.10pm and Jack thinks Manuka Oval can host it during the season proper.
Next week will be the first time the two teams have met outside of Sydney, with the AFL using the emerging rivalry to try to help grow the game in the Harbour City.
But Jack wants the rivalry to help expand the AFL's reach into the ACT as well.
He said the Swans would field a ''pretty strong'' team in their opening NAB Challenge game to ''perform for our fans'' in Canberra.
''It's certainly on the cards [to play the Giants in Canberra during the regular season], absolutely, I don't see why they couldn't,'' Jack said. ''It'd be good, I'd have no issue with it.
''If it's received well from Canberra and both teams get really good support, I don't see why you wouldn't.''
The Swans played an intra-club trial at Lakeside Oval on Wednesday, in which both Franklin and Jack played.
Jack said if the former Hawthorn premiership player pulled up OK he would probably come to Canberra.
He said it was an ''exciting time'' for Swans fans.
It would also mean the Giants would get an early look at the prized recruit the Swans plucked from under their noses.
Most of the AFL world thought Franklin would leave the Hawks for the Giants, before he sensationally announced he was going to Sydney on a $10 million, nine-year deal.
''With the changes to the NAB Challenge now, it makes it really hard to take anyone in who's maybe a little bit underdone, because with a 120-minute game, limited rotations, it makes it very difficult - you need to pick a very fit and ready-to-go side,'' Jack said.
''If [Franklin] pulls up well [from the trial], I imagine he'll be playing round one of the NAB … I think it's an exciting time for Swans fans.''
While the Giants play three home-and-away games at Manuka every season as part of a 10-year, $26 million deal with the ACT government, the Swans still consider it their stamping ground, having played games there from 2003-11.
Jack, who has played five AFL games at Manuka, said the Swans still had plenty of support in Canberra and he was looking at the pre-season game as a way to ''give a little back'' to their fans.
''I know the Giants are trying to stake their claim to Canberra, play some more games and do some visits and that's fine,'' he said.
''They can try, but I still know we've got a very good supporter base there.''