Talia set for a return

March 6, 2019 3:36 pm in by

ADELAIDE’s defensive pillar Daniel Talia will make his comeback from knee surgery in an AFL pre-season game on Friday night.

And Talia will face increasingly difficult times in the backline because of new rules, his fellow defender Rory Laird says.

Talia, who had surgery last December on a left knee problem, has been cleared to play in a trial game against GWS in Canberra.

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“It’s a massive boost, he’s pretty much the leader back there,” Laird told reporters on Wednesday.

“He has been running for ages now … he’s just itching to get back out there.”

Laird said AFL defenders should brace for tougher times given the new rules which dictate six players from each side must start in each area of the ground – defence, midfield and attack.

The changes prevent teams putting extra players into defence at centre bounces.

“A lot of space for forwards, which is not great for backs,” Laird said.

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“If you lose a couple of centre bounces in a row it comes down pretty quick and there’s a lot of space for the forwards to move into.

“If they (opposing teams) get a clean centre bounce clearance, it can be tough.

“But it’s what the fans want to see and the AFL wants … if you have got six players on six there’s a lot of space and there should be a lot more scoring.”

© AAP 2019