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West Coast Eagles looks set to bolster its defence in training session

Date

Brad Elborough

Beau Waters trained with a secondary group of defenders.

Beau Waters trained with a secondary group of defenders. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

West Coast looks set to bolster its defence with recycled players from opposition AFL clubs.

Former Melbourne and Hawthorn players Jamie Bennell and Xavier Ellis appear likely to be given an opportunity to settle into a new-look Eagles back line.

Bennell and Ellis trained with regular members of the Eagles defence - Darren Glass, Shannon Hurn, Mitch Brown and Eric Mackenzie - along with new backline coach Adrian Hickmott at Patersons Stadium on Monday.

Players usually found in the Eagles back half, Beau Waters, Sam Butler and Blayne Wilson, trained with a secondary group of defenders.

Waters had his troubles with injuries last season, playing just seven games, missing the last five of the season because of a shoulder that required surgery.

But it appears that his pre-season is finally back on track. He wore no strapping for the training session and even threw himself into a couple of competitive marking contests.

Another regular in defence over the past few seasons, Will Schofield, took part in drills exercises with the midfield group, suggesting that he may get more of a running role under new coach Adam Simpson.

Sharrod Wellingham was flying in that midfield group and looks to have overcome any issues with a sore shin that hampered his early pre-season.

Wellingham is hoping to put his first disappointing season with the Eagles after crossing from Collingwood behind him. He badly twisted his ankle during the 2013 pre-season while jumping on a trampoline and managed just nine AFL games for the campaign.

Hurn also missed the last 10 games of last season because of an ankle injury, but also looks to have put that behind him and trained solidly this morning.

Ruckman Nic Naitanui trained with the main group, in a session that focused heavily on skills, and then was put through his paces with a range of sprints and tackling exercises for 20 minutes once most of his teammates had left the ground.

New recruit Malcolm Karpany also did some extra work, running laps and doing springs with former defender Mark Nicoski.

Bennell, 23, joined the Eagles as a rookie for the 2013 season after playing 57 games in four seasons with the Demons.

After recovering from a knee reconstruction in 2012, he managed 12 WAFL games with Swan Districts last season, slotting into defence and averaging 17 touches and five rebound 50s per game. He was elevated to the Eagles senior list at the end of last season.

Ellis, 26, joined West Coast after playing just two games with premier Hawthorn last season. He has played only 16 AFL games in the past three seasons because of injury, but looks set to add to his 86 matches.

Only three players from the senior squad were not a part of the Eagles training session. Jacob Brennan and Matt Rosa continue to be hampered by injury over the pre-season, while Andrew Gaff watched the session from the sidelines in his runners.

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