Dew resists Suns' draftee AFL debut lure

Injury-plagued Izak Rankine's AFL debut for the Gold Coast has been put on hold until next season.
Injury-plagued Izak Rankine's AFL debut for the Gold Coast has been put on hold until next season.

Gold Coast fans will have to wait until next year to get their first glimpse at draftee Izak Rankine in the AFL.

Coach Stuart Dew admitted the temptation was strong to hand Rankine a debut against GWS on Saturday following the 19-year-old's return from serious injury.

Rankine, the brightest prospect at the Suns, has endured two major hamstring injuries this year but proved his fitness last weekend in the reserves.

Dew has however resisted the lure of adding some extra excitement to the Suns' final game of a dismal 2019 season, with Rankine overlooked for the team to face the Giants at Metricon Stadium.

"It's really tempting, his attitude's been fantastic - I think that's been the most exciting part for all of us at the footy club, how he's gone about this and approached it," Dew said before naming his team on Thursday.

"But we also don't want to get seduced by that and just look at all the facts. Can he get through a full game of football and contribute?

"He'll play AFL footy, it's just whether it's this year or next year."

The only change for the Suns this weekend is former Port Adelaide forward Aaron Young coming in for just his second game of the year while ex-Geelong midfielder George Horlin-Smith makes way.

Dew said Gold Coast would have plenty of motivation to snap a 17-game losing run with inaugural Sun Michael Rischitelli to retire after the Giants clash.

"He himself said he'd love to play in one more win, as every player would in their last game," he said.

"It'd be a nice touch for him if we could get over the line in his last game."

Australian Associated Press