West Coast’s Josh Kennedy urges Willie Rioli to do work required to play in 2021 | Ralph Lauren

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West Coast star Josh Kennedy remains hopeful teammate Willie Rioli can make his on-field return this season and urged the premiership forward to do the work required to be help the Eagles in their 2021 finals campaign.

Rioli re-joined his side on the track yesterday after nearly two years since being banned from all forms of the game due to drug test tampering in 2019.

Kennedy was excited by the skills witnessed at Lathlain but put the onus back on his fellow forward to work hard and prepare his body for the riggers of AFL footy, when officially available on July 20th.

“He’s owned what he’s done,” Kennedy told 6PR.


“(Willie) got up and spoke before and we’re just grateful that he’s back in amongst the mix and he knows he’s got a long road ahead of him to get fit and get ready.“By the looks of things he hasn’t lost any of his skill, which is fantastic.

“Look it’s good to have him back, we know it’s a long road ahead and he’s got to make sure he trains pretty hard to be able to be up for selection and play later this year.”

Willie Rioli in action during a West Coast Eagles AFL trainings session at Mineral Resources Park.
Camera IconWillie Rioli in action during a West Coast Eagles AFL trainings session at Mineral Resources Park. Credit: Paul Kane/Getty Images

The 26-year-old is eligible to return for round 23’s clash against Brisbane at the Gabba but the majority of his two-years away from organised football will likely impact his cance of a return.

“He knows he has to work his bum off to train hard and get ready to be able to play, that’s if he’s going to be available for selection at the back end of the year.

“We’re looking forward to him getting back into the rhythm of things, which is going to be hard with a lot of media over the first couple weeks.”


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