Dockers keep faith in Darcy for Pies clash

Fremantle ruckman Sean Darcy has given away a glut of free kicks of late but the Dockers are backing him in against Collingwood star Brodie Grundy.

Sean Darcy (R) of the Dockers.
Sean Darcy (R) of the Dockers. Picture: Paul Kane/Getty Images

Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir has thrown his faith behind Sean Darcy, believing the ruckman's deficiencies are easy fixes.

Longmuir was concerned after Darcy's 0-6 free-kick count in last week's 32-point loss to Geelong who didn't play a recognised ruckman, leaving him to face Mark Blicavs and Esava Ratugolea.

His season free-kick tally is 4-18 and his career total 24-62, meaning his on-field indiscipline is nothing new.

The 22-year-old faces a huge test on Sunday against Collingwood's All-Australian ruckman Brodie Grundy at Optus Stadium.

Despite the free-kick worries, Longmuir is keen to give Darcy an extended run in the hope he can develop some continuity.

"I thought he competed really well when he got his positioning right against Geelong and he competed really well against (Nic) Naitanui the week before, took his dominance at centre bounce away from him," Longmuir said.

"He's got a few areas he needs to work on but we think they're pretty easy fixes.

"He's got a massive challenge this week against probably the competition's best ruckman so we'll continue to back him in."

Collingwood made five changes from the team that lost to West Coast by 66 points last week.

Vice-captain Steele Sidebottom is back after serving a four-match ban for breaking COVID-19 protocols, while Brayden Sier, Jack Madgen, and Travis Varcoe have also been recalled.

Irishman Mark Keane has been named for his AFL debut.

Jordan Roughead, Matt Scharenberg, Atu Bosenavulagi and Rupert Wills were dropped, while Callum Brown was ruled out with an ankle injury.

The Dockers lost Darcy Tucker (hamstring), Michael Walters (hamstring) and James Aish (concussion), and they dropped Blake Acres and Bailey Banfield.

Skipper Nat Fyfe returns from a hamstring injury, while Brennan Cox, Travis Colyer, Mitch Crowden and Connor Blakely were also recalled.

Longmuir has intimate knowledge of Collingwood's players and tactics after two seasons there under coach Nathan Buckley before taking on the Fremantle gig at the end of last year.

"I think it helps with preparing our players, especially for individuals and their system," he said.

"But there's not a lot of secrets in footy these days. I think every club knows how every club plays.

"They've clearly changed a few things since I left and they've got some different personnel but I feel like I've given our players some decent insight."