Lance Franklin.

Lance Franklin. Photo: Getty Images

He's a two-time AFL premiership player, former Coleman Medal winner and he's kicked some of the most freakish goals in the history of the game, but Greater Western Sydney defender Phil Davis was undaunted at the prospect of trying to stop the Sydney Swans' $10 million man Lance "Buddy" Franklin.

And the Giants co-captain said if All-Australian full-forward Jeremy Cameron continued to improve the way he has so far he would "go close" to being as good as Franklin.

Davis has been one of the Giants' pillars in defence, since his recruitment from Adelaide.

And he was expecting to spread his time between Franklin, Sam Reid and Lewis Roberts-Thomson in the round-one clash against Sydney at the Sydney Showgrounds on Saturday night.

The 23-year-old had an injury interrupted season last year, but said he had a good pre-season and was hoping to play "some good footy".

And he was looking forward to going head-to-head with the best forwards in the game again this season.

Franklin certainly fits that bill. The former Hawthorn star kicked 58 goals last year, despite spending a lot of time further up the ground than in his Coleman Medal-winning year of 2008, when he booted 113.

Davis felt any talk of Franklin's best being behind him were premature.

While he was looking forward to the challenge, Davis was also looking forward to some help from his fellow defenders – especially mature recruits Josh Hunt and Heath Shaw.

"At ground level [Franklin is] as good as the best small forwards in the game," he said.

"He's super quick and got a huge engine, he's got a lot of tricks, and on top of that he's 105kg.

"No wonder he's one of the best forwards in the game when he's got all that.

"Obviously, when you come up against the best you think it's going to be a big challenge, but you can't afford to be daunted and you can't let the occasion get to you.

"He kicked goals last year and almost won the Coleman and he was playing in a different role. He's still got all his tricks and his best features, he's still a super, super player."

Cameron has bulked up considerably, adding six kilograms to his maturing frame, over the pre-season following a breakout year when he kicked 62 goals to finish third in the Coleman Medal in just his second season.

Davis felt if that improvement continued Cameron would become a great player.

"There are a few comparisons [between Cameron and Franklin] – they're both left-footers, both very good at ground level as well, but I'm very glad Jezza is in my team and he's going to be a great player for a long time," Davis said.

"I think if you asked Jezza, he'd be happy to be half as good as what Buddy is. Buddy's a super player and if Jeremy keeps progressing the way he has he'll go close, but Buddy's one of the best of the modern generation."

After a good pre-season, Davis said GWS wanted to get some momentum going "when it counts" and they went into the year with high expectations.