Saints lose two defenders to illness for Shanghai clash

 afl.com.au  06/02/2019 01:53:00 
Jonathon Marsh is a late out for the Saints - AFL,St Kilda Saints

Jonathon Marsh is a late out for the Saints

ILLNESS has ruled out St Kilda defensive pair Daniel McKenzie and Jonathon Marsh for Sunday afternoon's clash with Port Adelaide at Adelaide Arena at Jiangwan Stadium in Shanghai.

Speedster Nick Coffield comes into the side for his first game this season, along with key backman Darragh Joyce

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Coffield will add classy ball use to the half-back line. Drafted at No.8 in 2017, he lined up in 10 games in his debut campaign but has been stuck in the VFL as the Saints wanted him to improve his consistency of defensive efforts.

Joyce, 22, has managed two matches this year.

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Coach Alan Richardson and assistant Brett Ratten are right to go despite also falling ill.

After the issues running through the Saints camp, Nick Hind and Ben Paton made a last-minute trip to China, with that being Hind's first foray out of Australia.

Both arrived at the team's hotel on the morning of the match.

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Jack Billings and Shane Savage had also been struggling but football manager Simon Lethlean said the pair were healthy for the crunch clash, with both sides sitting at 5-5.

"We're ready to go," Lethlean said.

"McKenzie and Marsh are feeling better this morning but we made the call to leave them out of the side given their preparation has been compromised.

"Joyce and Coffield have trained fully over the past two days and like the rest of the group, are really excited to get out there.

"'Richo' and the other guys who missed yesterday's captain's run are fully recovered, as expected."

St Kilda v Port Adelaide at Jiangwan Stadium, 12.20pm AWST

LATE CHANGES
St Kilda: 
Daniel McKenzie (illness) and Jonathon Marsh (illness) replaced in the selected side by Nick Coffield and Darragh Joyce
Port Adelaide: Nil

FINAL INTERCHANGES
St Kilda:
 Nick Coffield, Luke Dunstan, Ben Long, Ed Phillips
Port Adelaide: Zac Butters, Xavier Duursma, Kane Farrell, Riley Bonner

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