West Coast is getting their first glimpse at its prized number one draft pick for the first time at the top level.
And Jai Culley’s AFL baptism has come against the best mid-season recruit in the competition — running alongside Hawthorn’s Jai Newcombe in midfield.
Culley’s debut completes an inspirational rise from a home gym at his parents’ house in the Melbourne suburb of Langwarrin, to Western Australia and on to the MCG.
He became the 47th player to represent the club this season, breaking a league record.
The Eagles lead at quarter-time, 4.2 (26) to 2.3 (15).
Newcombe was taken with the second pick in last year’s rookie draft and has fast become a midfield general and a tackling machine for the Hawks.
Culley started on the bench but was injected straight into the Eagles’ midfield troop when he did enter the game after six minutes.
Newcombe was the busier of the pair,…