Rugby League

AFL 2023, round one LIVE updates: Clarkson era begins at North, Sheezel makes highly-anticipated debut against Eagles

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2022 battlers up against each other

The first game today is between two teams who last year rivalled Fitzroy’s final team in 1996 for ineptitude.

North and West Coast finished 18th and 17th respectively last year with 2-20 win-loss records.

The Kangaroos’ percentage was a pathetic 55.8, while the Eagles’ wasn’t much better at 59.8.

Today, North will be aiming to break their five-game losing streak, while West Coast will be looking to bring an end to their eight-match losing run.

The Kangas have only won one of their last nine games at Marvel Stadium, but the Eagles haven’t struggled as badly there in recent years, winning five of their last eight at the venue.

North are also gunning for a third consecutive win against the Eagles for the first time since 1999.

Clarkson in charge

It’s the start of a new era for North Melbourne today in more ways than one.

Not only is master coach Alastair Clarkson taking the reins of the club for the first time, but highly-touted No.3 pick Harry Sheezel will also be making his debut.

Former Fremantle defender Griffin Logue and ex-Hawthorn triple premiership star Liam Shiels will also be making their club debuts for North today.

But the Kangas aren’t the only ones who will be fielding a new-look side. Former Demon Jayden Hunt will be taking to the field for the first time for West Coast, as will debutants Reuben Ginbey, Noah Long and Campbell Chesser.

Master coach Alistair Clarkson.Credit:Getty Images

Today’s milestone

Kane Farrell (PA) – 50 games

Kane Farrell.Credit:Getty Images

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