Port axe ruck for AFL clash against Tiges

Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley has dropped second ruck Peter Ladhams for Friday night's AFL blockbuster against Richmond.

KEN HINKLEY.
KEN HINKLEY. Picture: Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images

Port Adelaide have axed versatile tall Peter Ladhams while summoning a teenager for an AFL debut in Friday night's blockbuster against reigning premiers Richmond.

Ladhams has been replaced by 18-year-old defender Lachie Jones for the highly-anticipated Adelaide Oval fixture.

Power coach Ken Hinkley described Jones, a solidly-built half-back from South Australia's Yorke Peninsula who was pick No.16 at last year's draft, as "aggressive and ready to play".

"He one of those mature young people that is just right to go out and play men's footy," Hinkley told reporters on Thursday.

"He is a big boy ... he is explosive. He has got a lot of things that you'd suggest would make him successful at AFL football, now he gets his first test.

"What a game to debut, against the reigning premiers."

The encounter is a rematch of last season's preliminary final when the Tigers pipped the Power by six points en route to a third premiership in four seasons.

Hinkley dismissed any theme of belated revenge, noting both clubs were badly beaten last weekend.

"Everyone would like to say it's going to be a big moment because of the prelim final," he said.

"It will be a big moment because both teams had a loss last week and both teams are trying to create their season this year - and that's nothing about last year.

"It was pretty challenging conditions on prelim final night - it was a 46 (points) to 40 game, it was miserable weather.

"Tomorrow night is going to be a complete opposite and that will make it a better football spectacle."

Despite the forecast for warm, dry weather, Hinkley dumped Ladhams - but the 202cm forward-ruckman may yet earn a reprieve with forward Todd Marshall facing a match-day fitness after rolling an ankle at training.

"We expect he will be okay - if he doesn't come up, Ladhams will come in," Hinkley said.

"If Ladhams is in really good form, he's a part of the team. But he has been a little bit off.

"If you're not in form ... you're probably going to pay a price."