PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JULY 10: Scott Lycett of the Eagles fends off Drew Petrie of the Kangaroos during the 2016 AFL Round 16 match between the West Coast Eagles and the North Melbourne Kangaroos at Domain Stadium on July 10, 2016 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

West Coast Eagles ruckman Drew Petrie is hopeful of taking the field against his former club North Melbourne in Round 1 this season, but he’s no certainty to hold down the No.1 ruck position in pre-season.

Former Geelong Cats big man Nathan Vardy also made the move West during the trade period, and the pair have both impressed midfield coach Dean Cox in the absence of Nic Naitanui and Scott Lycett.

Cox said on Wednesday both Petrie and Vardy would be given the chance during the JLT Community Series to showcase themselves for a Round 1 Eagles debut, and admitted that at this stage of the season it’s too tough to say which player is more likely to start.

“I’m not sure about (who is) leading, we’re still really early in the pre-season phase,” Cox said.

“Only now we’re starting to do the match-sim stuff and stoppage and working around the ground where it’s really competitive.

“Vards has been really good since he got here, he’s completed most of the program, and Drew’s been fantastic as well.

“So along with (Jonathan) Giles who has had a really good pre-season after surgery at the end of the year, they’ll all get a chance over the (JLT Community Series) campaign to press for round one.”