Returning Giant eyes Rankine AFL battle

GWS speedster Zac Williams is back from injury for the AFL clash with Gold Coast and keen to test himself against Suns livewire Izak Rankine.

ZAC WILLIAMS.
ZAC WILLIAMS. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Zac Williams will relish the chance to take on Gold Coast livewire Izak Rankine when he returns to bolster a reinvigorated Greater Western Sydney at Metricon Stadium on Sunday.

Williams' inclusion after five frustrating weeks sidelined with a hamstring injury is a huge boost for the Giants who are seeking to improve their run and ball movement out of the back half.

It will also release the likes of wingman Harry Perryman and elite kick Lachie Whitfield to hopefully play more attacking roles and create cleaner forward entries and scoring opportunities.

"We all hang our hat on our defence first but if I can get us moving and speed things up a little bit that's another little opportunity that will help our forwards get their hands on the footy," Williams said.

"It's beneficial to the team that I'm back in the side and can free up those sorts of boys to play their own usual positions."

Rankine, 20, has shone for the Suns since his long-awaited round six debut, kicking 6.9 from three appearances, and has shown a knack for producing clips for the highlights reel.

"He's only played a handful of games but you can already see he's going to be an absolute superstar," Williams said.

"He's so silky smooth with the way he uses the footy and hits the scoreboard as well.

"I'd love to have the opportunity to play on him (and) I'm sure there will be times when I'm playing on him but their other small forwards are dangerous as well with their pressure and the way they move the footy."

GWS have won their past eight against Gold Coast by an average of 68 points and only two of those games have been decided by less than 11 goals.

But they have identical 4-4 records for 2020 heading into Sunday's clash.

"Everyone's surprised with the way (Gold Coast) have come back from the lockdown situation," Williams said.

"All their young guns are coming through now and they're playing ripping footy and even though they're young, they're actually a really tough team.

"They tackle hard and they're the No.1 pressure side in the comp at the moment, so we know we're going to have to bring our A-game if we want to get the 'W'."

Williams tipped star teammate Toby Greene to pull out some more tricks after a match-winning five-goal haul in the stirring round-eight win over Richmond.

"You think you've seen it all at training but he always does something every week to surprise everyone."

Williams returns in place of Daniel Lloyd (finger) from the team that beat Richmond, while Gold Coast are unchanged after last week's loss to the Western Bulldogs.