Searl back from injury to face Tigers

CAPTAIN Michael Searl is fit and back for the rampaging North Ballarat Rooster to face Richmond in the VFL at Ballarat’s Eureka Stadium on Sunday.

Jacob Werts (Learmonth) flies high over the back of Daylesford’s Sebastian Walsh in a CHFL match earlier this season. PICTURE: Kate Healy

Jacob Werts (Learmonth) flies high over the back of Daylesford’s Sebastian Walsh in a CHFL match earlier this season. PICTURE: Kate Healy

Searl has not played since breaking a finger in a nailbiting victory over Frankston – missing wins over Bendigo Gold, Box Hill Hawks and Casey Scorpions.

His return will see him line up against former premiership teammate Orren Stephenson.

It will be the first time Stephenson has played against the Selkirk Roosters in a home and away match since being drafted by Geelong in 2012 and then crossing to Richmond last year.

The Big O’s selections sets up a head-to-head clash with North Melbourne rookie-listed Eric “Big E” Wallace, who has this season basically carried the ruck role for the Roosters in his first VFL season.

North Ballarat football manager Marg Richards confirmed Searl and first-gamer Jacob Werts from CHFL club Learmonth as inclusions as the Roosters strive for six wins in a row.

Werts will line up as 23rd player in what is his second season with North Ballarat.

North Melbourne’s Cam Delaney (toe) and Tom Carey, who has been 23rd player for three weeks, are out, and Richards said there was still doubt about Kangaroos duo Ben Jacobs (sprained ankle) and Max Warren (corked hip).

Delaney played his first match for the season last round, but could manage only about 50 per cent of game time and faces the possibility of surgery on the problem toe.

Jacobs and Warren will be given as much time as possible to prove their fitness.

Richmond gains Ben Lennon, who has been dropped by Richmond for Friday night’s AFL clash with the Sydney Swans.

Roosters’ injury list: Jesse Murphy (hamstring) 1 week, Daniel Semmens (quad) 1 week, Mitchell Rodd (abductor) 1 week, Ash Simpson (ankle) 5 weeks; Lucas Anderson (foot) season.

david.brehaut@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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