Mature-age recruit and former carpenter Tom Hutchesson will make his AFL debut for GWS in the Sydney derby, nine months after being drafted as he flew back from a European holiday.
The Giants have picked Hutchesson to fill the void left by injured key defender Phil Davis, also recalling Sam Jacobs in place of Shane Mumford for Thursday night's clash with Sydney in Perth.
The versatile 25-year-old has taken a different path to the top compared to most draftees.
Hutchesson was playing local football and living in Millicent, a small South Australian town near Mount Gambier, when invited to be a top-up player for Adelaide's SANFL outfit in 2019.
GWS saw more than enough in some of those SANFL games to roll the dice on Hutchesson with the final pick in last year's draft, hoping the carpenter could add depth and potentially be the league's latest mature-age success story.
Hutchesson learned his draft-night fate thanks to the innovation of in-flight internet, returned home then hastily packed his bags to shift.
"He thought his opportunity at AFL level was gone. Him and his partner Natalie have moved up and clearly that's been challenging in the circumstances," Giants coach Leon Cameron said.
"He's a really popular young fellow, he works really hard. He can play midfield, forward and on the wing.
"He's got great speed and he's a really good competitor, so we look forward to welcoming him into the team to play in a huge game against the Swans."
Hutchesson was tempted to return home to South Australia during the AFL's shutdown, but his girlfriend Natalie had just moved and started work as a theatre nurse in Sydney.
Davis, who injured his knee during GWS's dramatic win over Essendon last Friday, failed a fitness test on Wednesday.
Australian Associated Press