Crows to test AFL forward in defence

Billy Frampton returns for the Crows in defence for his side's clash with Hawthorn.
Billy Frampton returns for the Crows in defence for his side's clash with Hawthorn.

Adelaide will test out forward Billy Frampton's capability in defence when they meet fellow AFL cellar-dwellers Hawthorn on Saturday.

Frampton earned a recall to the top grade having picked up a team-high 31 disposals and 13 marks in the SANFL last weekend after being shifted to the unfamiliar role.

Crows coach Matthew Nicks said he wanted to get a look at the 24-year-old in defence over the remainder of the season.

"What we're seeing from Billy is incredible craft as a back considering he's played all of his career as a forward," Nicks said.

"He knows what a forward wants and he's able to read the ball. It's a massive step up but we want to give him that opportunity.

"By no means will he be a spare behind the ball."

The 16th-placed Crows have slumped to four straight losses, with Nicks admitting a draining season is taking its toll on his young roster.

"We're still having a look at the group and what connects us up best. Who is going to put the ball between the two sticks for us, that's the question that everyone is trying to (answer) at the moment."

"But there's more to it than that. There's the way we move the footy."

Half-back Tom Doedee returns to Adelaide's side for the Marvel Stadium clash after missing last round with concussion.

Hawthorn will be hoping for some clear air after being bombarded by questions around the club's coaching plan to transition from Alastair Clarkson to Sam Mitchell.

Clarkson on Friday pledged to see out his coaching contract until the end of 2023 and admitted the speculation had left players confused and dispirited.

The Hawks welcome back several big names, with Blake Hardwick and Chad Wingard returning from hamstring injuries that have kept them out since round 15 and 16 respectively.

Jack Scrimshaw is back after missing a week due to concussion.

Australian Associated Press