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Cousins to miss premiership reunion

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Brownlow medallist Ben Cousins is set to be a noticeable absentee when West Coast’s 2006 premiership side is honoured before tonight’s clash between the Eagles and Bombers in Perth.

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Members of the 2006 flag side will be paraded to the crowd, and will form a guard of honour for the current team.

As part of the 10-year premiership anniversary celebrations, a private dinner has been planned for tomorrow night.

But Cousins isn’t expected to attend either event following his ongoing battle with drug addiction.

An erratic Cousins was taken to hospital earlier this week after he was found directing traffic on a busy Perth highway.

Last year, he was assessed at a mental health facility after breaking into Perth’s Special Air Service Regiment.

Defender Brett Jones, who is overseas, will also be absent from this week’s celebrations, but premiership hero Daniel Chick is set to appear, despite his fractious relationship with the club.

Chick rocked the Eagles last year when he alleged widespread use of cocaine, ecstasy and methamphetamine during his time there.

The 40-year-old also angrily hit out at the club via social media this month following a television special about the off-field turbulence surrounding the 2006 premiership.

West Coast are attempting to mend their relationship with Chick, and the club hopes the premiership defender will be present.

Bombers coach John Worsfold, who captained West Coast to two flags before coaching them to the 2006 premiership, is set to receive a warm welcome from Eagles fans, despite his switch in allegiances.

The match will mark the first time Worsfold has coached against the Eagles, and the veteran would love nothing more than to mastermind an upset victory.

West Coast have axed another of its high-profile recruits – after previously losing patience with Sydney star Lewis Jetta – ditching Brisbane import Jack Redden, while defender Mitch Brown has been recalled for his first AFL game of the year.

The Eagles made four changes all up, with Scott Lycett, Jackson Nelson, and Patrick McGinnity joining Brown in the side, while Josh Hill, Jonathan Giles and Fraser McInnes join Redden on the sidelines.

Essendon has made just one change, replacing Patrick Ambrose with Matt Dea.

-AAP

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