THERE is injury carnage at Fremantle, with three key players unavailable for Saturday’s must-win contest against Geelong at Optus Stadium.
Defensive pair Nathan Wilson (toe) and Luke Ryan (hamstring) and big man Rory Lobb (shoulder) will miss the game against the League-leader, while veteran Hayden Ballantyne and Brett Bewley have been given the chop.
Jason Carter will become the first player from Wyndham to play in the AFL when he runs out in the purple jumper. The 19-year-old – who has impressed in a mix of wing and half-back roles with Peel Thunder – is joined in the Fremantle side by Bailey Banfield, Mitch Crowden, Ethan Hughes and Sam Switkowski.
Zach Tuohy and Gary Rohan bolster Geelong’s line-up, with seasoned campaigner Harry Taylor managed and James Parsons dropped.
Adelaide’s revolving veteran door remains in business, with Josh Jenkins axed for the second time in 2019 as Eddie Betts, Bryce Gibbs and Richard Douglas return.
Hard-running midfielder Paul Seedsman joins Jenkins in going out of the team, while midfield beast Hugh Greenwood will spend another week in the SANFL.
The Crows have also selected Darcy Fogarty, the 12th selection at the 2017 National Draft, for his first game of the year against St Kilda at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night.
The Saints, meanwhile, have made just the one change, calling on Josh Battle to replace Blake Acres (shoulder).
North Melbourne’s bid to defeat Hawthorn in Rhyce Shaw’s first game since receiving the full-time coaching job has been given a shot in the arm with key defender Scott Thompson returning to the line-up. Run-with midfielder Kayne Turner also returns after being rested from the team that copped a 49-point hammering at the hands of West Coast last round.
Shaun Atley will miss his first match since 2015 with knee soreness, while Jed Anderson has been omitted.
The Hawks have brought back Tim O’Brien for Jon Ceglar (calf).
Essendon have made the two changes as they attempt to make it six wins on the bounce when they lock horns with Port Adelaide at Marvel Stadium on Saturday, with dynamic defender Connor McKenna returning after missing last week’s narrow win over Gold Coast due to his brother’s wedding, while livewire Orazio Fantasia has recovered from a hip injury.
The Power have wielded the axe as they look to get their season back on track, dumping Scott Lycett, Dougal Howard and Joel Garner.
Powerful forward Charlie Dixon has been recalled after a one-week stint in the SANFL and is joined in the team by Peter Ladhams and Todd Marshall.
Greater Western Sydney has made two changes for Saturday’s date with cross-town rival Sydney at Giants Stadium, naming Jake Stein and veteran Brett Deledio.
Emerging defender Sam Taylor (hamstring) and Daniel Lloyd (calf) go out of the side.
As previously reported on Sports Central, the Swans will be without Dane Rampe (eye) and Colin O’Riordan (groin).
Classy youngster Oliver Florent and goalsneak Daniel Menzel headline the four ins for Sydney, which may be out of finals contention but will be striving to finish their season in a positive fashion.
Melbourne have made four changes for Saturday night’s contest against Richmond at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, with Jake Melksham and Braydon Preuss the notable inclusions. Lock-down defender Neville Jetta (knee) and developing tall Tim Smith (foot) are among the outs.
The Tigers have recalled premiership pair Josh Caddy and Dan Butler to fill the void left by captain Trent Cotchin (hamstring) and rising star Sydney Stack (calf soreness).
Gun midfielder Taylor Adams headlines six potential additions for Collingwood’s encounter with Gold Coast at the MCG on Sunday, after being a late withdrawal from the side that lost to the Tigers by 32 points last-start.
Defensive midfielder Levi Greenwood and young defender Jack Magden are other possible inclusions to replace star forward Jordan De Goey (hamstring) and emerging talent Isaac Quaynor (foot).
The Suns will make at least three changes with Charlie Ballard slotting straight back into the team as a direct replacement for injured defender Jack Hombsch (ankle). Jack Martin has also been named to play after overcoming an injured finger, while Jesse Joyce and Corey Ellis have been cut.
Coach Adam Simpson has confirmed that West Coast captain Shannon Hurn will play against a resurgent Carlton outfit at Marvel Stadium on Sunday. Midfield stopper Mark Hutchings – who hasn’t played since injuring his hamstring in the round 15 win over Hawthorn – and defender Tom Cole headline an extended bench.
The Blues are yet to drop anyone, with classy youngster Zac Fisher, Alex Fasolo, Hugh Goddard and Matthew Lobbe in the selection frame.
Veteran Dale Morris (knee) is the sole confirmed out for the Western Bulldogs’ must-win clash against Brisbane at the Gabba.
Superboot Matthew Suckling, emerging forward Josh Schache and premiership player Toby McLean are vying for a spot at the Bulldogs.
For the Lions, key defender Harris Andrews returns from suspension, while Ben Keays, Ryan Bastinac and Lewis Taylor have been named on the extended bench after dominant performances for the club’s NEAFL side.
FRIDAY AUGUST 2
NORTH MELBOURNE versus HAWTHORN, Marvel Stadium, 7.50pm (AEST)
In: S.Thompson, K.Turner
Out: S.Atley (knee), J.Anderson
SATURDAY AUGUST 3
ESSENDON versus PORT ADELAIDE, Marvel Stadium, 1.45pm (AEST)
In: O.Fantasia, C.McKenna
Out: B.McNiece, J.Laverde
In: C.Dixon, P.Ladhams, T.Marshall
Out: D.Howard, S.Lycett, J.Garner
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY versus SYDNEY, Giants Stadium, 2.10pm (AEST)
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY
In: B.Deledio, J.Stein
Out: S.Taylor (hamstring), D.Lloyd (calf)
In: O.Florent, J.Rose, D.Menzel, K.Jack
Out: L.Melican, R.Stoddart, D.Rampe (eye), C.O’Riordan (groin)
FREMANTLE versus GEELONG, Optus Stadium, 2.35pm (AWST)
In: E.Hughes, B.Banfield, M.Crowden, J.Carter, S.Switkowski
Out: H.Ballantyne, B.Bewley, N.Wilson (toe), L.Ryan (hamstring), R.Lobb (shoulder)
New: Jason Carter (Claremont)
In: Z.Tuohy, G.Rohan
Out: H.Taylor (managed), J.Parsons
MELBOURNE versus RICHMOND, Melbourne Cricket Ground, 7.25pm (AEST)
In: K.Dunkley, J.Melksham, B.Preuss, J.Kennedy Harris
Out: J.Wagner, A.Neal-Bullen, N.Jetta (knee), T.Smith (foot)
In: J.Caddy, D.Butler
Out: S.Stack (calf), T.Cotchin (hamstring)
ADELAIDE versus ST KILDA, Adelaide Oval, 7.10pm (ACST)
In: R.Douglas, E.Betts, B.Gibbs, D.Fogarty
Out: P.Seedsman, P.Wilson, J.Jenkins, T.Stengle
Out: B.Acres (shoulder)
SUNDAY AUGUST 4
COLLINGWOOD versus GOLD COAST, Melbourne Cricket Ground, 1.10pm (AEST)
In: T.Adams, L.Greenwood, T.Brown, J.Noble, J.Madgen, R.Wills
Out: I.Quaynor (foot), J.De Goey (hamstring)
New: Tyler Brown (Eastern U18)
In: C.Ballard, J.Martin, B.Ainsworth, J.Bowes, C.Graham, G.Horlin-Smith, J.McLennan
Out: J.Joyce, J.Hombsch (ankle), C.Ellis
New: Caleb Graham (Gold Coast NEAFL), Jez McLennan (Central District)
CARLTON versus WEST COAST, Marvel Stadium, 1.10pm (AEST)
In: Z.Fisher, A.Fasolo, H.Goddard, M.Lobbe
In: S.Hurn, T.Cole, B.Williams, M.Hutchings
New: Bailey Williams (Dandenong U18)
BRISBANE versus WESTERN BULLDOGS, Gabba, 4.40pm (AEST)
In: H.Andrews, B.Keays, R.Bastinac, L.Taylor
In: M.Suckling, J.Schache, T.McLean, B.Williams, J.Sweet
Out: D.Morris (knee)
New: Jordon Sweet (North Adelaide)