Coniglio needs to lift with midfield: GWS

Coach Leon Cameron says skipper Stephen Coniglio and his midfield need to lift against Brisbane.
Coach Leon Cameron says skipper Stephen Coniglio and his midfield need to lift against Brisbane.

GWS coach Leon Cameron has backed Stephen Coniglio to reignite the AFL club's misfiring engine room, suggesting the captain's form is down but his leadership remains strong.

The Giants' star-studded midfield, set to be boosted by returning gun Tim Taranto and small forward Toby Greene in Saturday's home clash with Brisbane, has produced some patchy form since the COVID-19 shutdown ended.

Coniglio, appointed captain in the off-season after signing a seven-year deal, has been the figurehead of their struggles.

A report on Monday claimed the 26-year-old could be dropped for this weekend's game at Giants Stadium.

That won't transpire, with Taranto, Jye Caldwell and Zac Langdon replacing Callan Ward (knee), Jackson Hately and Tom Green in the side defeated by Port Adelaide.

However, Cameron urged his on-ballers to show more consistency and intensity while admitting Coniglio needs to lift.

"He's not in the best of form but he's the first one to admit it," Cameron told reporters.

"Good for patches but also some concerning areas.

"We've had some really good discussions. He's not on his own ... we're getting beaten up at clearances and contested ball.

"I'm really confident he will turn his form around and our midfield will turn their form around. We need to do it pretty quickly because we're up against probably the best midfield in the comp."

Cameron declared some leaders would go into a shell if confronted with such a slump in their first season as skipper, but that hasn't been the case with Coniglio.

"He's leading by example. He stands up in meetings, he's driving his team," Cameron said.

"His character means he'll work his way through it."

Taranto's return should improve GWS's chances of singing the song after Cameron's 150th game in charge; a milestone that makes him the sixth life member of the expansion club.

The Giants' reigning best and fairest hasn't played AFL since undergoing a shoulder reconstruction in March, but attacked the ball like "a man possessed" in last weekend's scratch match.

"So there's no hesitation in putting him into the midfield," Cameron said, also forecasting some stints on the wing and half-forward line.

Cameron hinted Greene, who was among a handful of players on limited duties at Thursday's training session, could spend more minutes on the ball as GWS seek to find a spark in the middle.

"No issues there, he'll definitely play ... Toby plays such an aggressive game, there's always going to be a corkie here and there," Cameron said.

"Then he wants to train all the time. He is his own worst enemy sometimes, we just have to hold him back."

Australian Associated Press