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Mason Cox’s brutal’showground for livestock’ sledge was retaliated against by ………

GWS Giants hit back at Mason Cox’s savage ‘showground for livestock’ sledge

A new AFL rivalry could be brewing after the GWS Giants fired back at a Collingwood star’s attempt to belittle the expansion team.

GWS Giants CEO Dave Matthews has bit back at Mason Cox’s spicy sledge about the Giants hosting Collingwood to kick off next season.

This week the AFL announced season 2024 would begin with a new look ‘Opening Round’, with four games to be played in Sydney and Queensland in a bid to attract fans in rugby league heartland.

Sydney Swans host Melbourne to kick off the season at the SCG before GWS take on Collingwood in a repeat of the preliminary final, which the Magpies won by a point.

Cox took aim at the Giants after the ‘Opening Round’ fixture was announced, tweeting: “Round 1 NRL goes to Las Vegas. AFL premiers go to … A showground for livestock.”

The quip was in reference to GWS’ home ground GIANTS Stadium also being where the Sydney Royal Easter Show is held in the early stages of the AFL season.

Matthews responded to the Magpies ruckman’s sledge, describing it as “D-grade comedy” and taking a shot at Cox’s chances of being in Collingwood’s best 22 for the clash.

Mason Cox isn’t afraid to poke the bear. (Photo by Josh Chadwick/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

“To be honest, it’s D-grade comedy at best,” Matthews said on SEN on Friday.

“I guess that’s his thing. I guess it resonates with some people. I didn’t see it, someone showed it to me.

“I guess our players and fans are looking forward to giving him a warm welcome when he does get here, assuming he’s in the side.”

Elsewhere in the Opening Round, Brisbane will take on Carlton at the Gabba on Friday 8 March in a repeat of the preliminary final, which the Lions won.

In another blockbuster clash, Richmond will play the Gold Coast Suns at Heritage Bank Stadium as Damien Hardwick coaches against his former side and the likes of Dustin Martin for the first time since leaving the Tigers.

The decision to start the season with what is effectively Round Zero has frustrated some AFL fans, especially given Richmond will play Carlton in a traditional clash at the MCG to kick off Round 1.

We could have a new AFL rivalry on our hands between Collingwood and GWS. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

The ripple effect of only eight teams playing in the ‘Opening Round’ means the season will be somewhat more disjointed than unusual — with a total of nine various bye rounds across the season.

The AFL has announced the full slate of games for the first 15 rounds and will confirm times and dates for games from Round 16 onwards midway through the year, as part of their floating fixture.

Most Thursday night games will start at 7.30pm — 10 minutes later than previous seasons — and Friday night games will start at 7.40pm, 10 minutes earlier than previous years in a bid to be more family friendly.

Footy fans will be pleased there is very little overlap in games on Sunday, with many Sundays featuring two games starting at 1pm and 4pm.

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