CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - JULY 30: Rory Lobb of the Giants attempts to take a mark during the round 19 AFL match between the Greater Western Sydney Giants and the Richmond Tigers at Star Track Oval on July 30, 2016 in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

Eagles ramp up interest in Rory Lobb

West Coast is expected to increase its pursuit of Greater Western Sydney big man Rory Lobb, according to AFL.com.au.

With confirmation on Wednesday that star ruckman Nic Naitanui will undergo a traditional knee reconstruction ruling him our of the game for the next 12 months, Lobb’s signature becomes even more important for the Eagles.

Lobb is believed to be open to returning home to Western Australia next season, despite being contracted for 2017.

Fremantle and West Coast are have both flagged their interest in the 206cm forward/ruck option, with both sides now needing another established tall next season.

“I think both us and Fremantle would be negligent if we weren’t looking at Rory Lobb,” West Coast list manager Adrian Battiston told Channel Nine.

“We’ve been hearing that (he wants to return home), but until that’s made formal, we’re not absolutely 100 per cent sure on that.”

Meanwhile, Battiston said that a decision on recruiting Hayden Ballantyne has not been made, despite reports last week that the Dockers’ forward had requested a trade to the Eagles.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 07: Hayden Ballantyne of the Dockers in action during the 2016 AFL Round 20 match between the Fremantle Dockers and the West Coast Eagles at Domain Stadium on August 07, 2016 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Media/Getty Images)
PERTH, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 07: Hayden Ballantyne of the Dockers in action during the 2016 AFL Round 20 match between the Fremantle Dockers and the West Coast Eagles at Domain Stadium on August 07, 2016 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

“We’ll need to make some enquiries, undergo our due diligence, assess whether within the structure of our team at the moment Hayden is someone that provides what we’re looking for in terms of improvement,” he said.

“He’s 30, nearly 30; that’s all part of the decision making process. You can’t just sit down in isolation and remove that part of it.”

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