Roosters or Roos? Late decision on Swallow

SUNDAY fixtures for both North Melbourne and North Ballarat Roosters means a decision is likely to be made as late as Friday on where Andrew Swallow will suit up.

Andrew Swallow. FILE IMAGE

Andrew Swallow. FILE IMAGE

Selkirk Roosters coach Gerard FitzGerald said top priority was for the Kangaroos to determine how well the skipper pulled up.

Swallow played his first game back from Achilles surgery with the Roosters in the VFL against Geelong at Simonds Stadium on Sunday.

Even if Swallow is named for the Kangaroos’ AFL game with Gold Coast Suns at Etihad Stadium, he must still pass unscathed through a Friday morning training session.

Selections will be tough. The Kangaroos, coming off a strong win against Fremantle, already have defender Scott Thomson and midfielder Daniel Wells back available for selection.

Thomson’s return could question whether the Roos still have room for Joel Tippett, who played well on his AFL debut last round, or if Tippett would return to Roosters’ ranks to face Footscray in the Victorian Football League.

Swallow chalked up 23 disposals and five tackles in his long-awaited return to football before taking to the bench, as planned, at three-quarter-time.

Post-match, Swallow told NMFC.com.au he felt good back on the field and that while his legs blew up a little, due to a lack of match fitness, he got better and better as play wore on.

Kangaroos coach Brad Scott said there was a lot to consider as the week unfolded.

“We need to weigh up whether it is better to get him another AFL game before the bye or wait until after the bye and get another game or two under his belt in the VFL,” Scott said.

“It’s a tough decision because you always want your captain back in your side.”

The Kangaroos will continue to monitor rookie Max Warren, who sustained a heavy knock to the head midway through the fourth quarter of the Roosters’ game and was cleared late back into play.

FitzGerald said Warren would be carefully watched for delayed onset concussion after an initial awareness issue in play.

North Melbourne and North Ballarat each have a bye round after this week.

melanie.whelan@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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