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West Coast's Liam Ryan named for first game of AFL season

Jackson Clark -

West Coast star Liam Ryan will play his first AFL game in over 12 months when he returns for Sunday’s clash against the Gold Coast Suns.

The All-Australian has not appeared at AFL level for the Eagles since Round 3 last year after battling a series of hamstring injuries.

The Yamatji man has since had two hamstring tendon surgeries but is raring to go after two WAFL matches this season.

Playing across the half back line, Ryan had 19 disposals against East Fremantle – as the Eagles’ WAFL team snapped a 28-game losing streak – followed by 17 touches last weekend against Peel Thunder.

All-Australian forward Liam Ryan will return for the Eagles for their clash against the Gold Coast Suns. (Image: AAP)

West Coast coach Adam Simpson told the AAP his star forward was feeling the nerves ahead of his long-awaited return to the elite level.

“I think he’s nervous – it’s been a while,” Simpson said.

“We’ll manage him through the game, we’ll look after him with some minutes.”

Ryan has been named in the forward pocket for an Eagles team full of confidence after two big wins over Richmond and Fremantle.

He is one of three inclusions for the Eagles team, which will face the Suns at People First Stadium on the Gold Coast.

The 2018 premiership player has played 88 games for the Eagles and kicked 123 goals since being drafted in the 2017 AFL National Draft.

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