Collingwood coach Craig McRae has declared the “flexibility” Billy Frampton offers his team was a key reason why he will replace fellow key position recruit Dan McStay in the Magpies’ Grand Final team.
The 201cm former Crow will play his first game since round 24 and 16th for the year on Saturday after the Pies decided to stick with its current composition of talls in the season decider.
McRae confirmed the news on Wednesday afternoon in a sign the Magpies have settled their line-up well ahead of the Thursday evening deadline.
“Billy Frampton will play… I told him yesterday afternoon. We’re excited for what Bill can do for us… he gives good flexibility in the team,” McRae told SEN.
“He gets an opportunity to come in. I told him yesterday afternoon and we‘re excited for him. He’ll be good for us.
“He can play forward for us and go back where need be, and play on the likes of (Joe) Daniher and others, and he can play (as) second ruck.
“Excited for the young lad.”
McStay will miss the Grand Final against his former Lions after he suffered a serious MCL strain in the preliminary final, while vice-captain Taylor Adams was ruled out on Tuesday with hamstring tightness after failing to recover in time from a training setback during semi-final week.
Frampton played as a forward in Collingwood’s match simulation on Tuesday, taking several strong marks.
His selection likely leaves a single call to be made over who will assume the substitute role out of incumbent Jack Ginnivan and defender John Noble.
“We‘re still working through (the sub). As we always do, we’ll announce who our sub is,” McRae said.
Frampton and the coach had a “a genuine hug” after being told he was in the side in a moment everyone at the club enjoyed. –
“I asked if he could come and see me in my office…he was walking in and I‘m not sure if he was excited or what he was expecting, but there was a genuine excitement,” He said.
“I said ‘can you keep it to yourself, mate, and I’ll announce it in the next 24 hours?’.
“He walked out and Howey saw him and he had the big smile and gave him a big hug.”