White to greet the heat

INS AND OUTS: Mitchell White is put through his paces at Geelong Football Club training last night. White will line up for the Cats in Cairns tomorrow while the Lions will be missing 10 key players. Photo: GLENN FERGUSON

Friday, February 28

MITCHELL White is expected to play in Geelong's round two Wizard Cup clash in Cairns tomorrow while Brisbane will be without 10 dual premiership players.

The Cats will field a near-full strength squad in the Cairns heat, while the Lions will be without the likes of Michael Voss, Chris Scott and Alastair Lynch.

Lynch will not make the trip to Cairns so as to avoid a re-lapse of the chronic fatigue syndrome which has plagued him for the past nine years.

But the Lions will still have some experience in the ranks, with Justin Leppitsch to lead the team in the absence of Voss, and Craig McRae and Darryl White returning to the side.

Cameron Ling will be the only absence from last week's squad which belted the Western Bulldogs.

He will be out for up to three weeks with the ankle injury he sustained in that match.

Mitchell White played only five senior games last year after a series of back-related hamstring injuries, and only returned to full fitness at the end of the season.

Geelong coach Mark Thompson said the heat and humidity of Cairns, or the possibility of playing on a hard ground, would not trouble White.

``There's a whole range of factors with Mitchell and most players, but he'll play this weekend,'' Thompson said.

The coach said he expected a hard clash against the reigning back-to-back premier despite the absence of some of Brisbane's frontline players.

``They've got a few outs, that's good for us,'' Thompson said

``It's not a great difference between them if we're playing them now or if we're playing them at full strength, I'm actually just looking forward to what we can do against them and see how far we've come.

``Every time you play Brisbane it's a test, we've won our first game and we've got to go up to Cairns in pretty hard conditions and play the premiers of the last two years so it's not an easy game,'' he said.

Thompson said he would be ``interested to see'' how the bulked-up Cats fared against Brisbane, especially after last year's thrashing at the hands of a physically superior Lions outfit at Skilled Stadium.