AFL: GWS mulls selection calls on Ward, Coniglio

Greater Western Sydney is weighing up whether to recall captain Stephen Coniglio and former skipper Callan Ward as they seek to conjure a spot in the AFL finals.

The Giants have suffered upset losses to Adelaide and Melbourne in the past week, with their run of four consecutive finals appearances likely to end.

But GWS, who face St Kilda on Friday night, could yet snatch a top-eight spot.

They will need to defeat the Saints at the Gabba then, barring a particularly lopsided victory, require Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs to both lose in the final round.

Giants coach Leon Cameron’s decision to drop Coniglio for their crucial match against the Demons attracted criticism from former Fremantle coach Ross Lyon and other pundits.

Cameron is yet to make a call on Coniglio being recalled after his demotion.

Fit-again midfielder Ward, who led the Giants alongside Phil Davis for their first eight seasons, is in the mix for a return but the 30-year-old’s lack of match fitness may count against him.

Ward has endured a stop-start campaign because of multiple injuries.

He is yet to play since undergoing surgery to fix a dislocated finger, which he suffered in a loss to West Coast on August 23.

The Giants will decide whether to roll the dice on Ward after Wednesday’s training session.

“Wardy’s going really well,” GWS chief medico Cullan Ball said on Tuesday.

“He needs to get a bit more work into his finger, get a bit more movement, and work his way through a bit more contact work tomorrow to make sure he’s comfortable to go.”

Meanwhile, Jack Buckley is in contention to face the Saints despite suffering a delayed concussion on debut against Melbourne.

“He’s ticked all the boxes so far,” Ball said.

“He’ll train tomorrow, non-contact, and then if he’s good there we’ll tick his contact off and I’d expect him to be OK to play.”

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