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Exposed Suns lose 'most important player'

Gold Coast recruit Jack Hombsch knows it will be hard to replace the injured Rory Thompson in the heart of the Suns' defence this AFL season.

Exposed Suns lose 'most important player'

Gold Coast recruit Jack Hombsch knows it will be hard to replace the injured Rory Thompson in the heart of the Suns' defence this AFL season.

RORY THOMPSON of the Suns takes a mark over Tom Hawkins of the Cats during the AFL match between the Gold Coast Suns and the Geelong Cats at Metricon Stadium in Gold Coast, Australia.
RORY THOMPSON of the Suns takes a mark over Tom Hawkins of the Cats during the AFL match between the Gold Coast Suns and the Geelong Cats at Metricon Stadium in Gold Coast, Australia. Picture:Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Gold Coast recruit Jack Hombsch hasn't sugar-coated the loss of key defender Rory Thompson, labelling him the AFL team's "most important player"..

Hombsch will be one of those tasked with filling the void left by Thompson, who ruptured his ACL last week in a season-ending mishap that could be calamitous for the Suns.


Thompson was set to replace departed former co-captain Steven May as the key cog in defence in 2019.

Instead he'll be sitting on the sidelines while the club's inexperienced alternatives do their best to not be exposed.

Hombsch, who played 98 games at GWS and Port Adelaide before the move north, knows it's going to be tough for the Suns.

"Losing Rory is ... really unfortunate ... in my opinion he's probably our most important player," he said.

"The rest of us back six, back 10 have to pick the slack up now."

Hombsch and VFL recruit Sam Collins will have a chance to do that but at 194cm are shorter than the competition's elite tall forwards.

The injury also opens the door for draft pick Ben King, who at 202cm may now receive a crash course in senior football rather than waiting patiently for a debut.

"Us bigger guys are going to have to lift five or 10 percent," Hombsch said.

"Hopefully we've got the depth there to cover that; we've got plenty of big bodies down there still."

The Suns, who are $1001 with some bookies to win this year's flag, beat the Western Bulldogs before being soundly trumped by Sydney in their two official pre-season matches.

Gold Coast open their AFL season on March 24 away to St Kilda.

AAP


AAP




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