Hunter stars Sarah Halvorsen and Pippa Smyth have been named in the Giants’ starting lineup set to face Richmond (1-0) in the VFL Womens second round.
The week two clash against the Tigers marks Smyth’s return to the field in the orange and black of Greater Western Sydney. The Nelson Bay defender, who played with the Giants in the 2018 AFLW season, has been named as a halfback.
Smyth’s return sees her join fellow Hunter region player Sarah Halvorsen, who has already tucked a game in the VFLW under her belt in the orange and black. Halvorsen, who plays for Newcastle City in the AFL Hunter Central Coast competition, opened her scoring account in the 13.15-93 to 2.2-14 win over Williamstown in the first week.
Halvorsen has been named alongside Tait Mackrill and Rebecca Privitelli in the full forwards.
Giants coach Roger Moten said his side is excited to return to Melbourne for their second game in as many weeks, especially off the back of their 79-point at Downer Oval.
“We’re excited to have a quick turnaround between games and continue on from a pleasing start in game one,” Moten said. “With nine new faces in the team last week, we had a focus on our on-field connection and energy. This will be ongoing and we will explore our squad with more players getting opportunities this week.”
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Smyth isn’t the only notable Hunter player taking the to VFLW field for the first time in 2019. Hunter-born Rebecca Beeson is also in line for her season opener after having been named in the Hawthorn side to face Collingwood on Saturday afternoon.
Hawthorn fell to the Northern Territory side in the opening week by 22-points, and the Hawks will now be looking for a bounce-back win at Victoria Park.
Fellow Hunter product Lisa Steane, who played in the opening round win for the Giants, has been rotated out in the second week.
Giants Round 2 team list:
FB: Tanya Hetherington, Renee Tomkins, Lisa Whitely; HB: Pippa Smyth, Louise Stephenson, Ellie Brush; C: Alexia Hamilton, Jessica Dal Pos, Amanda Farrugia; HF: Sarah Halverson, Rebecca Privitelli, Delma Gisu; FF: Aimee Schmidt, Rylee McGartland, Tait Mackrill; Ruck: Ingrid Neilsen, Alyce Parker, Alicia Eva.