David Swallow (right) of the Suns competes for the ball with Callan Ward of the Giants.
David Swallow (right) of the Suns competes for the ball with Callan Ward of the Giants. PAUL MILLER

Bitter pill to Swallows as brothers miss clash

YOU have to feel for the close-knit Swallow family, who would have been eagerly anticipating Saturday's clash at Etihad Stadium.

Brothers Andrew and David were set to finally go head to head again when North Melbourne hosts the Gold Coast.

After all, they had only crossed paths once in the past four years, Andrew missing the Roos-Suns clash in 2014 and David sidelined for the encounter in 2016.

Instead, neither one will be representing their side in an all-important round-six clash.

Badly out of form, Andrew, 29, has been omitted by Roos coach Brad Scott for the first time since 2008.

Former teammate Brent Harvey said Andrew had "slowed down since his achilles problem" in 2013.

"If they don't play him in the guts, I don't think you can hide him down back or hide him up forward," Harvey told Melbourne radio.

The successor to Harvey as Kangaroos skipper has averaged just 16 touches this season - a far cry from the 25 he gathered per game at his peak in 2011 and 2012.


Andrew Swallow of the Kangaroos is seen in action during the Round 3 AFL match between the North Melbourne Kangaroos and the Greater Western Sydney Giants at Blundstone Arena in Hobart, Saturday, April 8, 2017. (AAP Image/Julian Smith) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Andrew Swallow of the Kangaroos. JULIAN SMITH

David, 24, just back from almost two years out of the game with a knee injury, has been rested, with Suns coach Rodney Eade taking a cautious approach.

"Obviously he's missed a lot of footy over the last year or so with a significant injury so we want to make sure we can get him through the whole year," Suns football manager Marcus Ashcroft said.

After a 34-disposal game against Hawthorn in round three, the 2010 No.1 draft pick has collected 13 and 11 possessions in the past two rounds.

Andrew joins Lindsay Thomas on the outer, being replaced by Jed Anderson and Shaun Higgins, while David has his spot taken by Jesse Lonergan.