Sydney co-captain Kieren Jack says Lance Franklin’s love of the big occasion means the forward won’t be daunted by playing against former club Hawthorn in Melbourne for the first time.
Franklin, who won two premierships in nine seasons with the Hawks, will line up against them at the MCG on Saturday night.
He signed a nine-year $10 million deal with Sydney late last year and already broken the hearts of Hawks supporters once this season.
In his first clash against his former club, he kicked two crucial goals in Sydney’s win at ANZ Stadium after starting with seven behinds.
Since that game, red-hot Franklin has kicked 33.17 in eight matches.
He is running third in the Coleman Medal on 47 goals, five behind leader Jay Schulz.
Franklin has kicked five goals in two games this season at the MCG, where many Hawthorn fans will on Saturday watch their former hero in enemy colours.
“I’m sure he’s not going to be daunted at all by the task, he loves those sort of occasions, so he’ll be fine,” Jack said.
Defender Rhyce Shaw, midfielder Dan Hannebery and forward Kurt Tippett all did some work at training on Tuesday, as each continued to try and stake a claim for selection and return from injury.
Midfielder Jack, who in 2011 suffered similar ankle syndesmosis problems to Shaw and Hannebery, revealed he had warned them against rushing back.
“I’ve told them to take a cautious approach because it is a frustrating injury,” Jack said.
“You don’t want to come back too early and tweak it because it can linger around for the rest of the year.
“I probably rushed it a little bit in in 2011 and I tweaked it again and missed a couple of weeks and it really lingered around.”
Jack feels Sydney and Hawthorn had an enormous amount of mutual respect.
He said Sydney didn’t really believe in themselves until halfway through their most recent premiership-winning campaign in 2012.
“Now the way we’ve been playing there’s certainly a belief that if we bring our best it’s hard to come up against,” Jack said.
He wasn’t fussed about going for a club record 13th straight win this week, as they attempt to get their third victory from as many MCG engagements this year.
Stating with their 2012 grand final conquest of Hawthorn, Sydney have won five of their past seven at the code’s most cherished venue after going winless in their previous nine fixtures at the ground.