K rock Football

Tarrant to return for Roos

Robbie Tarrant in action for North Melbourne in 2019. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

VETERAN defender Robbie Tarrant will return against Greater Western Sydney as North Melbourne eye a resurgence in the second half of their AFL season.

Tarrant hasn’t played all season after having a small lump removed from his kidney in March but will travel to Tasmania for Sunday’s game at Blundstone Arena.

While Tarrant has been unable to play VFL, coach David Noble said after a solid training block the 32-year-old was fit to play without any restrictions on game time.

“He’ll be playing, which is great for our club,” Noble told reporters on Thursday.

“… Robbie’s been doing a lot of work in the background with our younger guys – he’s been helping Ben (McKay) a lot, which is good.

“He’s been able to offer his advice – even with guys like Josh (Walker), down there from time to time and particularly with Jack (Ziebell) playing a new role down there in defence, so he’s been really helpful in that mentoring aspect.

“It’s another mature body in that back end for us. It gives us flexibility.”

Jaidyn Stephenson will have to get through training to return from a wrist injury.

The Kangaroos sit bottom of the ladder with just one win from an injury-hit opening 11 games, but Noble was confident they were taking the right steps towards adding more victories in the second half of the season.

“We feel like we’re doing a good job on moving our group towards having more of those wins as we go through into the second half of the season,” he said.

“We may get a few guys that return throughout the back half of the year – I think what that allows us to do is then have selection pressure.

“That’s the thing that we haven’t had in the front half of the year – is the pressure from underneath to drive standards and performance a bit better.”

The Kangaroos have been buoyed in recent days with Will Phillips, Charlie Lazzaro and McKay all re-signing.

But they have been unable to get top mid-season draft pick Jacob Edwards into the club with the rest of their playing group due to coronavirus protocols.

As Edwards is still attending school, he has been doing some training away from the main group but Noble planned to bring the teenager into the fold in his upcoming school holidays.

(C) AAP 2021