Brown backs draftees for round one

07 March 2018 04:29:43 EST

Defender Nathan Brown believes two of St Kilda's 2016 draftees are in the reckoning to make an immediate debut in round one.

Hunter Clark and Nick Coffield were selected with picks eight and nine respectively last year, and have impressed Brown during pre-season.

They both played well in the club's opening JLT Community Series clash with Carlton last week and have retained their places for Thursday's meeting with Melbourne at Casey Fields.

Clark and Coffield have impressed Brown with their ability to quickly adapt to life as professional footballers.

"I think they're ready," he said. "They're smart, and I guess if you don't have the body size as a young fella, it's about composure, and I think those two have that in spades."

Clark put in a classy performance across half-forward and the wing against the Blues, kicking two goals, while Coffield made good use of the ball in his half-back role.

"I've worked closely with 'Coff' down in the backline, and I think his composure for his first hit-out against (an) AFL opponent was fantastic," said Brown.

"And Hunter's in tight contest (work) was fantastic, and he was able to hit the scoreboard; I think Saints fans are going to be excited about those two prospects."

Saints had Jack Billings and Josh Bruce unavailable for their opening pre-season game, but both are expected to play against the Demons.

Billings strained a hamstring in an intraclub session in February, while Bruce stepped up his recovery from minor knee surgery when he played in a VFL practice game last week.

St Kilda are 7/20 to win their round one clash with Brisbane, who are 1/1.

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