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Curnow: Cripps to boost Blues

Curnow on inclusions and JLT 2 Ed Curnow fronted the media at Ikon Park today ahead of the boys' second JLT clash against St Kilda.

Carlton’s midfield bull Patrick Cripps will play his first game of the pre-season when the Blues host St Kilda this Saturday afternoon at Ikon Park. 

The 21-year-old, who suffered stress reactions in his back in November last year, will be a welcome addition for the Blues, who have named a young line-up to face the Saints. 

After a 54-point loss to Melbourne at Casey Fields last week, midfielder Ed Curnow confirmed Cripps would take to the field, with his addition to add some steel to the midfield mix.

"He'll instill a lot of belief and confidence in the young group out there," Curnow said on Friday.

"He's a bull around the stoppages and everyone loves playing with him, so that contagious pressure around the football will be great for our group."

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The inclusion of Cripps is an encouraging development for the 21-year-old, who initially looked to be in danger of missing the Blues' round one clash against Richmond when the injury was diagnosed.

In an eventful pre-season, Cripps has also had to deal with speculation linking him with a trade to either of the clubs in his native Western Australia. The Blues quickly stepped in to refute the trade rumours surrounding their contracted young star, who is widely seen as a future captain of the club.

"He's definitely got really strong leadership qualities," Curnow said.

"I'm sure he could become a leader of Carlton in the future. He's extremely determined and driven - he wants to be the best.

"The standards he holds for himself are super high."

Carlton's AFLW team will attempt to keep their Grand Final hopes alive when they take on the Western Bulldogs in the curtain-raiser to the men's game.

Injured star Brianna Davey is being given every opportunity to play in the do-or-die clash, the defender named as an emergency.

"She's still coming back from that back injury," teammate Madeline Keryk said.

"The medical team will give her every chance.

"She certainly adds a lot to our team ... we really miss that leadership down back when she's not there."

Saturday's double-header is a ticketed event, click here to guarantee your entry to support the Blues.