Esava Ratugolea back for Cats on Friday night

Geelong forward Esava Ratugolea is set to be unleashed once again against West Coast in Perth on Friday night having recovered from the broken ankle that ruined his 2018 season and, arguably, the Cats’ flag hopes last season.

The 20-year-old forward played in the VFL late last season in a gallant attempt to return for the finals but was never quite ready after suffering the break in round 10 when he flew for a mark against Carlton at GMHBA Stadium.

Geelong's Esava Ratugoiea.

Geelong’s Esava Ratugoiea.Credit:AAP

Soon after the Cats’ VFL season finished, Ratugolea had another operation on his ankle to remove the plate and screws that had been inserted immediately after the injury and admitted that he felt much better after the second operation.

The Cats’ big man showed great form as a key forward who could pinch-hit in the ruck in his first eight games last season and his loss was a major blow to Geelong’s structure with Tom Hawkins having to shoulder the burden as the team’s main marking target for most of the season.




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