Greater Western Sydney will host the Gold Coast Suns in Round 11 and will head into the ‘expansion derby’ with a 7-4 record over the Suns across their seven-year rivalry.
Both clubs have taken different paths since being inducted into the league, with the Giants looking at a third consecutive finals series in 2019 while Gold Coast sit 17th and still await their inaugural top eight birth.
The Giants and the Suns have both become breeding grounds for exciting, upcoming talent for the rest of the league, with players winning All-Australian selections, premierships and a Best & Fairest after leaving the leagues newest clubs.
The development and recruiting between the two clubs have added a surplus of talent to their lists, leading to players finding new clubs within the early years of their career.
Together, the two sides manage to produce an intriguing and star-filled 22 with their draft selections and academy picks since 2011, with a mixture of players still at their first club or having already moved on to another.
The Giants make up five of the six defenders within the starting 18, with new Melbourne recruit Steven May holding down the only spot as a Suns representative in the back six.
As expected, the midfield is stacked. The obvious positive for the Giants is that they’ve managed to hold onto a number of the best on-ballers they recruited over the years in Josh Kelly, Stephen Coniglio and Lachie Whitfield, who all make the side.
Joining them in the centre of the ground is ex-Giants Adam Treloar and Rory Lobb, while former Sun Jaeger O’Meara rounds out the last spot in the middle.
The forward-line would be a defender’s nightmare. Former Sun Tom Lynch and current Coleman Medal leader Jeremy Cameron tower the front six, with premiership Tiger Josh Caddy, Bombers pressure king Devon Smith and Giants duo Toby Greene and Tim Taranto finishing off the starters.
Dylan Shiel, Adam Saad, Dion Prestia and David Swallow all man the bench, with Swallow the only drafted Sun who’s still at the club within the 22.
The Expansion 22:
FB: Zac Williams, Steven May, Adam Tomlinson
HB:Nathan Wilson, Nick Haynes, Taylor Adams
C: Josh Kelly, Adam Treloar, Lachie Whitfield
HF: Tim Taranto, Jeremy Cameron, Josh Caddy
FF: Devon Smith, Tom Lynch, Toby Greene
R: Rory Lobb, Stephen Coniglio, Jaeger O’Meara
Int: Dylan Shiel, Dion Prestia, David Swallow, Adam Saad