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Brisbane Heat beat Sydney Thunder by five wickets at the Gabba, thanks to fifties for Joe Burns and Joe Denly



Axed Test opener Joe Burns released the shackles with a match-winning innings for the Brisbane Heat as they kept in touch with the BBL’s top five and snapped the Sydney Thunder’s five-game winning streak.

Dropped ahead of this week’s Sydney Test after a horror run of form, Burns (52 off 38) seized control after Chris Lynn’s (30 off 16) exit as they chased down the Thunder’s 8-174 with five balls and five wickets to spare on Monday.

Burns peppered the long-on boundary with two early sixes at the Gabba then batted with composure to earn the Heat (3-4) a second-straight win after making just one in his BBL return on Saturday.

As Lynn departed following his injection into the game as an X-factor after missing four games with a hamstring injury, Burns and Joe Denly (50 off 36) ensured they collected all four points with a 90-run partnership.

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“It’s relief just to get a few away to the boundary personally, but to get the result as well,” Burns said.

“You can’t doubt yourself … you’d like to think it never leaves you. It’s not about coming back (into form).

“I’m realistic — batting in the middle order of a T20 game is very different to opening against a red ball.

“But it is nice to feel the ball hit the middle of the bat and look up at the scoreboard and think about the match situation. It’s a nice feeling.”

Earlier Afghan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman (2-26) put the brakes on the Thunder’s promising start, collecting two tough catches and a run-out as well as taking the key scalps of Alex Hales (46) and Callum Ferguson (35).

Daniel Sams (37) tormented the Heat for the second time in three weeks, joining former Heat all-rounder Ben Cutting (24) to boost the Thunder’s total.

Cutting was booed in his return to the Gabba after nine seasons with the Heat but shrugged it off as he and Sams took 20 off the 18th over.

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Sams was hit on the helmet during his innings and, despite batting on, was substituted out at the break with concussion symptoms.

“(Mujeeb) bowled on that wicket really nicely, but we were in a really good position to accelerate late,” Thunder captain Callum Ferguson said.

“We felt like we had a total that was a winning total, but we just weren’t at our best with the ball.”

The victory means the Sydney Sixers remain on top of the ladder ahead of the Thunder, while the Heat jump the Perth Scorchers into sixth, one point behind Adelaide Strikers.

And it sets up a crucial clash with the Melbourne Stars on Thursday on the Gold Coast after the Stars moved into fourth by collecting maximum points in their 10-run win over the Hobart Hurricanes in Hobart earlier on Monday.

Marcus Stoinis made the difference for the Stars, with his 97 off 55 balls — including seven sixes — lifting his team to a 6-183 total that proved too much for the home side to chase down.

AAP/ABC



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Joe Burns axed from Test squad as David Warner, Marcus Harris and Will Pucovski named in 18-man group


Struggling Test opener Joe Burns has been left out of the squad for the remaining two games of the series against India.

Long-time opener David Warner is expected to fill one of the spots at the top of the order in his return from a groin injury, while fellow openers Marcus Harris and Will Pucovski have also been included in the 18-man squad for the Tests in Sydney and Brisbane.

“David has made strong progress in his recovery from injury and will be given every chance to play in Sydney with another seven days until the match,” selector Trevor Hohns said.

Burns was the only member of the team who played the first two Tests in Adelaide and Melbourne to miss out on selection in the squad for the rest of the series.

He had struggled in Sheffield Shield cricket leading into the Test series and had scores of 8, 0 and 4 in three of the four innings through the first two Tests.

He did score an unbeaten half-century as Australia chased down 90 to win the first Test, but it was not enough to save the out-of-form Queenslander.

An Australian cricketer kneels with his head on the grass after injuring himself while fielding.
Warner injured his groin while fielding in the ODI series last month.(AAP: Dan Himbrechts)

“Unfortunately, Joe’s returns haven’t been what he or the selectors would like or what we consider he is capable of,” Hohns said.

Warner, Pucovski and all-rounder Sean Abbott, coming off a calf strain, will rejoin the squad in Melbourne on Thursday.

Spectacular Shield form had put Pucovski in the frame to make his debut as an opener in the first Test, but a nasty concussion, his ninth, during a warm-up match saw him sidelined.

“He will be fit to play in Sydney subject to completing the return-to-play protocols and an independent assessment.”

The injuries to Pucovski and Warner allowed Burns to keep his spot for the first two games of the series and forced middle-order batsman Matthew Wade into an unfamiliar opening role.

Despite performing respectably at the top of the order, there is speculation Wade may move back down to his preferred spot lower down the batting order for the rest of the series, meaning two new openers could be picked for the third Test in Sydney.

That opening partnership would be some combination of Warner, Pucovski and Harris, with current number five Travis Head possibly being dropped.

The third Test will start at the SCG as scheduled on January 7, but COVID-19 protocols mean the squad will fly into Sydney later than usual and only be allowed out of quarantine to train and play the match.

Players will train in Melbourne on January 2 and 3 before travelling to Sydney on January 4.



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Australia’s Wiil Pucovski set to miss Boxing Day Test against India, Joe Burns cleared of serious injury


Will Pucovski is expected to be ruled out of the Boxing Day Test against India, while Joe Burns is set to play after being cleared of serious damage to his arm.

Pucovski was sidelined from the first Test in Adelaide, which Australia won by eight wickets, after suffering the ninth concussion of his career earlier this month.

He is likely to remain unavailable, with Australia adopting an understandably conservative approach as the Victorian continues his recovery.

Burns copped a nasty blow to the elbow on Saturday when his unbeaten 51 helped Australia complete its win at Adelaide Oval.

The opener was clearly bothered after being struck by the Jasprit Bumrah delivery but batted on, finding form as he outscored India’s entire second innings in the lopsided day-night Test.

There were fears Burns, who was sent for scans, could join Australia’s extensive injury list.

But the Queenslander has been cleared of a broken arm and is set to open at the MCG, where the hosts will pursue a 2-0 series lead in the four-Test series.

Joe Burns watches the pink ball intently after playing a shot.
Joe Burns posted an unbeaten half-century in Australia’s win over India.(AP: James Elsby)

The identity of Burns’s opening partner remains up in the air, although the growing expectation is that Australia will stick with an unchanged XI and give David Warner a further week and a half to recover from his groin strain.

Warner, who rushed to Melbourne on Saturday amid growing concerns about Sydney’s COVID-19 cluster, is yet to give up hope of convincing Australia’s medical staff and coach Justin Langer he is ready for the rigours of Test cricket.

Time is against the former vice-captain, although he is renowned for his fitness and has been working diligently in recent weeks.

David Warner plays a pull shot with his eyes closed
David Warner has been recovering from a groin injury.(AP: Andrew Cornaga)

Recalling Warner, be it for the second or third Test, will mean a member of the middle order has to make way.

Cameron Green, who bowled nine overs in India’s first innings then clutched a low catch to dismiss Virat Kohli as the tourists slumped to a record-low total of 36 on day three, and Travis Head are the obvious candidates.

Matthew Wade served as a makeshift opener in Adelaide, sharing a 70-run stand with Burns in the final innings of the pink-ball Test.

Australia’s Test squad will train on Monday and travel to Melbourne on Tuesday.

AAP



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Australia picking Joe Burns against India would be a show of faith, but it might end his form slump


As members of the unofficial Australian men’s cricket team selection panel, can we agree that in accumulating 1,379 Test runs at an average of 38.3 — including four centuries — Joe Burns has displayed a fair degree of class?

Can we also take for granted that in making just 62 first-class runs this season at an average of 6.88 — including scores of 4, 0, 0 and 1 for Australia A against India — Burns’s form is on the lamentable side of miserable?

So as the real Australian selectors ponder the Queenslander’s fate ahead of the first Test against India, we could well see an old adage tested in real time: is form really temporary and class permanent?

Such is the depth of Burns’s slump surely only faith in this proposition will prompt the Australian selectors to overlook alternatives, such as promoting Matthew Wade or Marnus Labuschagne to partner Marcus Harris against India in Adelaide.

Picking Burns would involve the counterintuitive belief that he can perform at the highest level against a talented opponent with a swinging pink ball when he has failed repeatedly in far more favourable circumstances.

As it is, the anecdotal evidence suggests form can be more than a match for even the classiest protagonist.

The most infamous form slump in modern cricket history involved one of the least likely candidates — Greg Chappell’s run of seven ducks (four consecutive) during the 1981/82 season.

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Such was Chappell’s elegant stroke play and insouciance at the crease that the sight of the Australian skipper scratching around with the cluelessness of an overwhelmed clubby was not merely unusual, it was emotionally wrenching.

The nadir of Chappell’s torment was not one of his ducks but an innings of 59 eked out during a World Series Cup match against West Indies at a packed MCG on a baking hot day in which Australia was bowled out for 146.

Imagine Monet painstakingly attempting to draw stick figures or Pavarotti warbling the discordant lyrics of an advertising jingle and you will have some idea of the depth of Chappell’s temporary decline, the agony prolonged on that day by his failure to fail.

Chappell’s famous mid-slump remark has become the trademark response for batters trying to reassure themselves the next big score is just an innings away: “I can’t say I’m batting badly. I’m not batting long enough to be batting badly.”

It has never been quite clear if Chappell was in denial or truly believed that some solid sessions in the nets were cruelly contradicted by his succession of well-rounded scorebook entries.

There is also the further philosophical question that Chappell’s remark raises, one that the Australian selectors will agonise over this week — can form be defined by the odd good shot or promising net sessions or is it purely a matter of runs on the board?

Burns overshadowed by Pucovski’s rise

There are those observers who can tell you there are “good runs” and “bad runs”.

Yet Burns has scored so few that any estimation of the relative value of his minuscule contributions is guesswork at best.

But you cannot help wonder if the speculation that mounted as Victorian wunderkind Will Pucovski scored consecutive Sheffield Shield double centuries has undermined Burns’s confidence or at least created some self-doubt.

Put yourself in a situation where you have earned a coveted job in which you are performing to the expectations of your employer, yet you are constantly bombarded by office gossip about a younger, more talented fellow worker who is set to take your place.

Warner was ridiculed for intervening in selection by publicly supporting Burns as the public excitement about Pucovski’s potential Test debut grew.

An Australian A male batter walks off the field holding his head after sustaining a concussion.
Will Pucovski (left) seemed destined to make his Test debut prior to his most recent concussion.(AAP: Joel Carrett)

But like coach Justin Langer, perhaps Warner understood the awkward position the incumbent Burns was in as the potential victim of both Pucovski’s tremendous early-season form and the public’s insatiable appetite for youth.

What we do know is that opening batsmen are a rare breed with even the apparently flint-hearted Geoff Boycott prototypes providing a psychological case study in self-immersion due to the thanklessness of their task.

At club level, an opening bat who fails on day one might spend the rest of the afternoon at the scorer’s table or square leg, and the following two weekends in the field should his team bowl first in their next game.

This not only explains why opening batsmen pretend they can bowl off-spin to stay in the game but also the quiet desperation that can enter and debilitate their mindset.

In the modern era, there has been — to borrow some marketing jargon — a “reimagining” of the opening batsman’s role as Warner, Virender Sehwag and other blunt weapons thrived in a role once typically characterised by a wet sponge.

But against the pink ball in Adelaide this week, whoever fills the opening roles for Australia will be under intense pressure to perform the most basic of tasks — dig in, take the shine off, get through to lunch (or, in this case, dinner) and set the game up for Steve Smith and the middle-order fancy boys.

Such is Burns’s summer torment it would take an almost astonishing show of faith by the Australian selectors to have him in at the top of the order.

But if Burns’s faith was shaken by his likely usurping by Pucovski, perhaps now an unlikely selection will stir the opener from his current slump — if, indeed, his class is permanent.



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Joe Burns, Marcus Harris fail to fire ahead of first Test against India, Mitchell Starc returns to Australia squad


Joe Burns and Marcus Harris have failed to impress with the bat in their final hit-out before the first Test against India, both being dismissed cheaply in Australia A’s second innings against the tourists at the SCG.

But in positive news for Australia four days out from the Adelaide day-night Test, the home side will welcome back fast bowler Mitchell Starc who was granted compassionate leave last week.

Burns, who opened the batting in every Test for Australia last domestic season, was out for 1 on the final day of the pink-ball tour match in Sydney.

He was dismissed for a duck in the first innings on Friday.

Fellow opener Harris, who was called up to Australia’s Test squad on Saturday after Will Pucovski withdrew because of concussion, could only manage 5.

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Both batters were dismissed by India quick Mohammed Shami.

Burns faced 21 balls and spent 39 minutes in the middle on Sunday before being trapped LBW by Shami.

The twin failures at the SCG add to an unconvincing start to the domestic season for Burns, who has tallied just 62 runs from nine first-class innings this season.

The Queenslander made 4 and a duck in Australia A’s first match against India last week at Drummoyne Oval.

Burns seemed a certain selection to open the batting for Australia in Adelaide, with David Warner (adductor injury) and Pucovski both ruled out.

But Australia Test great Allan Border said national selectors might be doing a disservice to Burns if they retained the out-of-form batsman in the Test XI.

“He just doesn’t look like scoring a run,” said Border, who was commentating on Fox Sports.

“If he just showed something, even if he made 20-odd today, batted OK and got out to a good ball, then you’d think we might stick with the incumbent.

Border backed Harris and Matthew Wade to open in the pink-ball Test, however that plan would be dependent on Cameron Green being passed fit for the match.

Cricket Australia (CA) is monitoring the condition of the young all-arounder, who was subbed out of Australia A’s match against India at the SCG on Friday evening after suffering a concussion while bowling.

CA’s medical staff said Green had shown “clinical improvement” on Saturday and was “symptomatically better” than he was the previous day.

Starc set to play Adelaide Test

Starc took leave from Australia’s T20 squad after the first match of the series against Indian because of a family illness.

The left-arm fast bowler has since advised the team management he is ready to return to the squad and he will fly from Sydney to Adelaide on Monday to join up with the rest of the Test team.

Mitchell Starc holds the pink ball in his hand above his head as his teammates stand around him and clap
Mitchell Starc will join his Australian teammates on Monday.(AP: Trevor Collens)

Fellow quick Josh Hazlewood said Starc’s return was very welcome.

“It’s obviously great news for us,” he said.

“He’s a huge part of our team and a huge part of our attack.

Starc has had great success with the pink ball since it was introduced for day-night Test and first-class matches.

Mitchell Starc celebrates another wicket with some high fives
Mitchell Starc (centre) claimed figures of 6-66 and 1-45 during his last day-night Test in Adelaide.(AP: James Elsby)

He has played in seven day-night Test matches, taking 42 wickets.

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Cameron Green boosts Test chances with century for Australia A against India, but Will Pucovski and Joe Burns make single figures


All-rounder Cameron Green has staked his claim for a Test spot, using the Australia A match against the Indian touring side to make an unbeaten century at Drummoyne Oval.

Going into the game, the spotlight was on openers Will Pucovski and Joe Burns — but both failed in their bids to impress Australian selectors.

Instead it was Green who made the runs, accumulating an impressive 114 not out by stumps on day two, with Australia A 8-286 in response to India’s 9-247 declared.

The 198cm tall Western Australian showed poise, good foot movement and shot making, hitting 10 fours and a six against the Indian attack.

He looked like he might run out of partners, but a spirited 33 from Michael Neser helped give Green time, and he eventually brought up his century with an off-drive off Hanuma Vihari.

Will Pucovski looks frustrated as he walks from the field
Will Pucovski missed a chance to secure a spot in Australia’s first Test team against India.(Supplied: Fox Sports)

Earlier, Pucovski opened for Australia A after India’s declaration on the second morning of the three-day warm-up game — but he only managed 1 off 22 deliveries before smoking his 23rd directly to point, where Shubman Gill took a sharp chance down low.

Seamer Umesh Yadav doubled up when he got a ball to rise on Burns, who gloved through to wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha two overs later for just 4.

The pair could well open together in the first Test against India at the Adelaide Oval if David Warner does not recover from a groin injury in time.

Will Pucovski and Joe Burns are kitted up and ready for action as they walk onto the ground
Will Pucovski and Joe Burns could still be Australia’s opening pair in Adelaide next week.(Supplied: Fox Sports)

If he is fit, selectors will be forced to choose just one of the pair for the series opener, which starts in 10 days.

Burns appears to be the frontrunner with team management, having been backed by coach Justin Langer after finishing last summer as the incumbent.

But he has passed 11 just once in his five Sheffield Shield innings so far this year, while 22-year-old Pucovski hit double centuries in two of his three innings for Victoria this summer and is seen as a star of the future.

But his attempt to press his case didn’t go to plan at Sydney’s Drummoyne Oval, surviving an LBW appeal from a Mohammed Siraj inswinger before being caught.

Marcus Harris, who has played nine Tests and scored a double ton alongside Pucovski for Victoria earlier this year, was also pressing his claim for an opening spot but fell short.

He was out for 35 after trying to cut off-spinner Ravi Ashwin, only to edge to Ajinkya Rahane at first slip.

The Indians had earlier declared at 9-247 on the second morning of the tour match, with Rahane finishing unbeaten on 117.

Australia A also lost Jackson Bird to a lower leg injury, after he limped off the field as he ran in to bowl just the third ball of the day.

James Pattinson was the best of the bowlers with 3-58.

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Will Pucovski and Joe Burns both fail in audition for Test opener spot


Will Pucovski and Joe Burns have both failed in their bids to impress Australian selectors after both openers flopped in their much-hyped bat-off in the tour match against India.

Opening for Australia A after India declared on 9-247 on the second morning of the three-day warm-up game, Pucovski only managed 1 off 22 deliveries before smoking his 23rd directly to point, where Shubman Gill took a sharp chance down low.

Seamer Umesh Yadav doubled up when he got a ball to rise on Burns, who gloved through to wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha two overs later for just 4.

The pair could well open together in the first Test against India at the Adelaide Oval if David Warner does not recover from a groin injury in time.

Will Pucovski and Joe Burns are kitted up and ready for action as they walk onto the ground
Will Pucovski and Joe Burns could still be Australia’s opening pair in Adelaide next week.(Supplied: Fox Sports)

If he is fit, selectors will be forced to choose just one of the pair for the series opener, which starts in 10 days.

Burns appears to be the frontrunner with team management, having been backed by coach Justin Langer after finishing last summer as the incumbent.

But he has passed 11 just once in his five Sheffield Shield innings so far this year, while 22-year-old Pucovski hit double centuries in two of his three innings for Victoria this summer and is seen as a star of the future.

But his attempt to press his case didn’t go to plan at Sydney’s Drummoyne Oval, surviving an LBW appeal from a Mohammed Siraj inswinger before being caught.

Marcus Harris, who has played nine Tests and scored a double ton alongside Pucovski for Victoria earlier this year, was also pressing his claim for an opening spot but fell short.

He was out for 35 after trying to cut off-spinner Ravi Ashwin, only to edge to Ajinkya Rahane at first slip.

The Indians had earlier declared at 9-247 on the second morning of the tour match, with Rahane finishing unbeaten on 117.

Australia A also lost Jackson Bird to a lower leg injury, after he limped off the field as he ran in to bowl just the third ball of the day.

James Pattinson was the best of the bowlers with 3-58.

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison congratulates Joe Biden


Prime Minister Scott Morrison has congratulated Joe Biden on being elected the 46th President of the United States and said he had “been a great friend of Australia over many years”.

Australia woke to the news on Sunday morning with Mr Biden declared the winner about 3.30am Sunday AEDT when Pennsylvania and its 20 Electoral College votes fell to the Democratic candidate, taking him past the 270 needed for victory.

But President Donald Trump is still yet to concede defeat, and continues to falsely claim he actually won with the election.

Mr Morrison said he would continue to “work closely” with President Trump and his administration during the transition period between now and January 20.

“On behalf of the Australian Government I also acknowledge and thank President Donald J. Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for their contribution to the Australia-US relationship,” Mr Morrison said.

“Australia has enjoyed a strong working relationship with the current administration, one that has seen the strength of our alliance continue to grow and deepen.”

The Prime Minister said he looked forward to strengthening the Australia’s relationship with the United States when Mr Biden takes office.

“The President-elect has been a great friend of Australia over many years, including when he visited Australia in 2016,” he said.

“Our partnership goes back more than a century. Next year, our countries will celebrate 70 years since the signing of the ANZUS Treaty – the foundation of our security alliance.

“We also look forward to working with President-elect Biden and his administration to continue to fight the COVID-19 global pandemic and recession, to develop a vaccine, drive a global economic recovery, and develop new technologies to reduce global emissions as we practically confront the challenge of climate change.

“We welcome the President-elect’s commitment to multilateral institutions and strengthening democracies.”

Mr Morrison also congratulated Kamala Harris on her election as Vice President.

Australian Ambassador to the United States Arthur Sinodinos acknowledged the possibility of challenges in the courts when he spoke to ABC Insiders on Sunday morning, but said diplomats in Washington were proceeding on the basis that Joe Biden was the President-elect.

“We’re taking the position that the election has been called,” he told host David Speers.

“The President has the right to contest this in the courts, but we, the UK, New Zealand, Canada, India, France, Germany and others have taken a view based on the information that’s been provided by the networks and others who have called it that this is the case.

“Until the 20th of January, Donald Trump remains the President of the United States. My job here at the embassy, our people at the embassy, will continue to deal professionally with our colleagues in the state department, the White House.

“(After) the inauguration, there’s a new President, we will then move to work closely with the new administration.”



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Joe Daniher to leave Essendon to join Brisbane Lions ahead of 2021 AFL season


Joe Daniher will leave Essendon to join Brisbane after the Bombers chose not to match the Lions’ offer for the key forward.

The Bombers will receive a first-round draft selection as compensation, with the Lions currently holding pick seven.

Brisbane submitted its offer for restricted free agent Daniher late on Friday afternoon.

The Bombers had three days to decide whether they would match it and force a trade, however they decided not to stand in Daniher’s way, given what they are set to receive in return.

Daniher informed the Bombers earlier this month he wanted to leave the club, with the Lions his preferred destination.

Earlier on Friday, Hawthorn triple-premiership winger Isaac Smith departed the Hawks to join grand finalist Geelong as an unrestricted free agent on a two-year deal.

The Hawks confirmed Smith, 31, would depart after 210 senior matches with the club, a stint that included playing a crucial role in the 2013, 2014 and 2015 premierships.

Hawthorn was keen to keep Smith, while Melbourne was also in the race for his services before Geelong won out.

“It’s been a very difficult decision, incredibly hard and [I] probably had a few sleepless nights over the last three or four nights to be honest,” Smith said.

“The heart was certainly pulling me towards Hawthorn but in the end the head won and I’m up for a new challenge, a new journey and I’m very excited to be part of the Geelong Football Club.”

Isaac Smith celebrates a goal for the Hawks
Isaac Smith will no longer be wearing the brown and gold of Hawthorn.(AAP: Julian Smith)

Hawthorn and Geelong enjoyed a fierce rivalry for much of Smith’s time at the Hawks.

“Certainly coming up against them, there was a real dislike between the playing groups and the clubs, but the other thing was, there was a hell a lot of respect,” he said.

Smith infamously missed a set shot after the siren in a two-point loss to the Cats in the 2016 qualifying final, while he went wide with another seconds before the final siren in a three-point loss the following season.

“I guess I’ve already won them two games of footy, so I’m guessing the Cats fans will be happy,” Smith joked.

Greater Western Sydney’s Williams is one step closer to joining Carlton, with the Blues lodging paperwork for the restricted free agent with the AFL on Friday.

Williams, 26, expressed his desire to join the Blues in September after 113 matches for GWS.

The free agency window opened on Friday morning, with Gold Coast kicking off proceedings by lodging a contract offer to Adelaide’s Rory Atkins.

As an unrestricted free agent, Atkins can join the Suns immediately, with the AFL confirming the Crows will receive an end-of-second-round draft pick as compensation.

Atkins played 101 matches for Adelaide, including the 2017 grand final loss, but made just four AFL appearances this season.

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Joe Daniher tells Essendon he wants to join Brisbane Lions to continue AFL career



Key forward Joe Daniher has told Essendon he wants to leave the club to join the Brisbane Lions from next season.

Essendon list manager Adrian Dodoro said Daniher wanted to live a quieter life away from Victoria.

“We put forward a contract offer to Joe, but he has expressed his strong desire to live away from Melbourne,” Dodoro said in a club statement.

“We understand that free agency is part of our industry and he has a right to explore his options.”

The Lions released a statement saying they were “excited” Daniher had nominated the club as “his preferred new home”.

“The club will work its way through the process of free agency with the AFL during the free agency trade period,” a Lions statement said.

“As a club our number one priority at the moment is our finals campaign and focusing on our preparation toward this.”

It is the second year in a row that the injury plagued Daniher has requested a move away from the Bombers.

Daniher was set on joining Sydney last off-season, but the Bombers and Swans could not agree on a suitable trade.

The 26-year-old is a restricted free agent this year, so Essendon could choose to match any deal the Lions offer.

Daniher has been limited to 15 matches across the last three seasons after battling a range of injury problems.

In his most recent injury-free campaign — in 2017 — he kicked 65 goals and was named in the All-Australian side.

He also won Essendon’s best-and-fairest in the same season.

Daniher has kicked 191 goals in 108 matches for the Bombers since making his senior debut in 2013.

The Bombers’ confirmation of Daniher’s desire to leave the club comes a day after the club announced defender Adam Saad wanted to join Carlton.

AAP/ABC



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