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AFL: Who plays round one?

Staff writers - AFL.com.au  March 17, 2017 9:08 AM

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Jy Simpkin could make his debut in the opening round.

It's rare, if not completely impossible, for a club to have its unchallenged best 22 available at any time.

With round one approaching, AFL.com.au reporters have had a stab at picking their best 22 for the season opener for every club, leaving out those players who are injured, suspended or will miss due to poor form.

ADELAIDE v Greater Western Sydney, Adelaide Oval, Sunday, March 26, 2.50pm ACDT

B: Luke Brown, Kyle Hartigan, Jake Lever
HB: Brodie Smith, Daniel Talia, Rory Laird
C: Rory Atkins, Matt Crouch, David Mackay
HF: Tom Lynch, Taylor Walker, Charlie Cameron
F: Eddie Betts, Josh Jenkins, Mitch McGovern
Foll: Sam Jacobs, Rory Sloane, Richard Douglas
I/C: Andy Otten, Curtly Hampton, Wayne Milera, Harrison Wigg

New faces: Curtly Hampton, Harrison Wigg

Missing with injury/suspension: Brad Crouch (hamstring, 1 week), Riley Knight (Achilles, 1 week), Paul Seedsman (groin, 1 week), Scott Thompson (shoulder, 1 week).

Notes: If anyone can hit the ground running from a fractured eye socket without playing a pre-season game, it's Rory Sloane. Of course, if there is any doubt over his injury, the Crows will err on the side of caution and give him another week. If that's the case, the Crows' midfield depth will be severely tested against the best engine room in the competition. The Crows would be unlikely to throw Brad Crouch, Scott Thompson or Paul Seedsman into the fray after lengthy lay-offs. Andy Otten's pre-season form is too good to ignore and he gets the nod ahead of Kyle Cheney for his first game in three years. Curtly Hampton and Wayne Milera have the pace the Crows' midfield need. In the toughest decision, Harrison Wigg gets the nod over former basketballer Hugh Greenwood and first-year player Jordan Gallucci for the last spot on the bench. - Lee Gaskin

Gold Coast v BRISBANE LIONS, Metricon Stadium, Saturday, March 25, 7.05pm AEST

B: Darcy Gardiner, Harris Andrews, Ryan Harwood
HB: Daniel Rich, Dan McStay, Sam Mayes
C: Rohan Bewick, Dayne Zorko, Ryan Lester
HF: Mitch Robinson, Eric Hipwood, Lewis Taylor
F: Jake Barrett, Michael Close, Ben Keays
Foll: Stefan Martin, Tom Rockliff, Dayne Beams
I/C: Tom Cutler, Ryan Bastinac, Tom Bell, Nick Robertson

New faces: Jake Barrett

Missing with injury/suspension: Allen Christensen (collarbone, 6-8 weeks), Jack Frost (suspended, 1 week), Hugh McCluggage (ankle, 1-2 weeks), Josh Schache (knee, 1-2 weeks).

Notes: Still a lot to learn for coach Chris Fagan about his young Lions team. With Frost suspended for the opening round, the second key defender – likely to mark 'Two Metre' Peter Wright – is a bit of a headache. It comes down to McStay, who hasn't played much footy, Josh Walker or possibly upgrading Matthew Hammelmann. I've gone for McStay as a one-game solution, although expect him to play forward more often this season. Schache and McCluggage are both 50-50 to play round one, but being so young, let's assume the Lions err on the side of caution and leave them out. Barrett will be elevated off the rookie list and earn his position. Rhys Mathieson and Claye Beams are very unlucky. - Michael Whiting

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CARLTON v Richmond, MCG, Thursday, March 23, 7.20pm AEST

B: Kade Simpson, Sam Rowe, Simon White
HB: Sam Docherty, Caleb Marchbank, Dale Thomas
C: Billie Smedts, Bryce Gibbs, Ed Curnow
HF: Matthew Wright, Jacob Weitering, Dennis Armfield
F: Rhys Palmer, Levi Casboult, Jarrod Pickett
Foll: Matthew Kreuzer, Patrick Cripps, Marc Murphy
I/C: Charlie Curnow, Sam Kerridge, Lachie Plowman, Jack Silvagni

New faces: Caleb Marchbank, Rhys Palmer, Jarrod Pickett, Billie Smedts

Missing with injury/suspension: Ciaran Byrne (knee, indefinite), Sam Petrevski-Seton (quad, 2 weeks), Andrew Phillips (stress reaction in foot, indefinite)

Notes: Pickett will make his AFL debut after an impressive performance in the Blues' final JLT Community Series match against Fremantle. Smedts will provide much-needed run and Palmer is smart around goal and can go through the midfield. There will be a temptation to play Weitering on Jack Riewoldt but he is far more important to the Blues' capabilities of kicking a winning score. Marchbank is versatile and can shore up the defence with Weitering required in attack. - Howard Kotton

COLLINGWOOD v Western Bulldogs, MCG, Friday, March 24, 7.50pm AEDT

B: Tyson Goldsack, Lynden Dunn, Jackson Ramsay
HB: Jeremy Howe, Ben Reid, Brayden Maynard
C: Steele Sidebottom, Adam Treloar, Jack Crisp
HF: Travis Varcoe, Jesse White, Will Hoskin-Elliott
F: Chris Mayne, Darcy Moore, Alex Fasolo
Foll: Brodie Grundy, Scott Pendlebury, Taylor Adams
I/C:  Mason Cox, Jarryd Blair, Tom Phillips, Josh Smith

New faces: Lynden Dunn, Will Hoskin-Elliott, Chris Mayne

Missing with injury/suspension: Jamie Elliott (ankle, TBC), Levi Greenwood (hamstring, TBC), Ben Sinclair (hamstring, 8-12 weeks), Daniel Wells (calf, 2-4 weeks)

Notes: Several spots are up in the air because of fitness issues, so on the basis of limited match conditioning I left out Jamie Elliott and Jordan De Goey, both of whom missed the final two JLT Community Series games, and I wasn't prepared to take a risk on the hamstring of Levi Greenwood, whose position in the team was probably already under threat. Rookie full-back Henry Schade, from Gold Coast, was unlucky to miss out but ex-Melbourne veteran Lynden Dunn gets the nod for his superior body strength and experience to play on Bulldogs big men such as Travis Cloke and Tom Boyd. Young midfielder James Aish was perhaps also a little stiff. - Ben Collins

ESSENDON v Hawthorn, MCG, Saturday, March 25, 7.25pm AEDT

B: Mark Baguley, Michael Hurley, Brent Stanton
HB: James Kelly, Patrick Ambrose, Martin Gleeson
C: Darcy Parish, Jobe Watson, Brendon Goddard
HF: Travis Colyer, Cale Hooker, James Stewart
F: Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti, Joe Daniher, Orazio Fantasia
R: Shaun McKernan, Zach Merrett, Dyson Heppell
I/C: David Zaharakis, Jayden Laverde, Andrew McGrath, Kyle Langford

New faces: James Stewart, Andrew McGrath

Missing with injury/suspension: Tom Bellchambers (knee, 2 weeks), Aaron Francis (ankle, 1-2 weeks), Josh Green (foot, 1 week), Matthew Leuenberger (hamstring, 3-4 weeks), David Myers (finger, 6 weeks), Jordan Ridley (back, 12 weeks),

Notes: I've picked six of the senior-listed Bomber players returning from WADA suspensions, with Heath Hocking, Ben Howlett and David Myers (injured) missing out. Should he get through this Friday night's VFL practice match against Geelong, Cale Hooker, returning from a hamstring injury, should do enough to confirm his selection. The ruck is an area of concern, with Bellchambers and Leuenberger both injured, so Shaun McKernan comes in as the replacement with Joe Daniher and James Stewart to provide back-up. This is a team that has the speed and experience to take it up to Hawthorn in round one. - Ben Guthrie

FREMANTLE v Geelong, Domain Stadium, Sunday, March 26, 4.40pm AWST

B: Lee Spurr, Joel Hamling, Zac Dawson
HB: Cam Sutcliffe, Michael Johnson, Lachie Weller
C: Stephen Hill, David Mundy, Bradley Hill
HF: Ed Langdon, Shane Kersten, Danyle Pearce
F: Michael Walters, Cam McCarthy, Jonathon Griffin
Foll: Aaron Sandilands, Nat Fyfe, Lachie Neale
I/C: Connor Blakely, Garrick Ibbotson, Darcy Tucker, Hayden Crozier

New faces: Joel Hamling, Bradley Hill, Shane Kersten, Cam McCarthy

Missing with injury/suspension: Michael Apeness (knee, 6-8 weeks), Hayden Ballantyne (hamstring, 8-10 weeks), Harley Bennell (calf, 6-8 weeks), Zac Clarke (knee, indefinite), Alex Pearce (leg, indefinite)

Notes: Losing Hayden Ballantyne for two months in the final JLT Community Series hit-out was a major blow and compounds Shane Yarran's retirement in December. Ballantyne's hamstring injury could open the door for Tommy Sheridan and Nick Suban if Ross Lyon reshuffles his line-up, but Hayden Crozier seems a more like-for-like replacement with his proven ability to play as a small forward as well as half-back. Draftee ruckman Sean Darcy appeared in all three pre-season matches, however Jonathon Griffin takes the back-up spot to Aaron Sandilands following an impressive JLT series. Ethan Hughes, draftee Brennan Cox and Sam Collins could all be pushing to break into the side early in the campaign, while top-10 pick Griffin Logue might need more time developing in the WAFL. Key forward Matt Taberner might start at Peel but will be aiming to put pressure on the likes of Geelong recruit Shane Kersten for a spot in attack. - Travis King

Fremantle v GEELONG, Domain Stadium, Sunday, March 26, 4.40pm AWST

B: Andrew Mackie, Tom Lonergan, Tom Stewart
HB: Zach Tuohy, Lachie Henderson, Jackson Thurlow
C: Mark Blicavs, Cam Guthrie, Mitch Duncan
HF: Daniel Menzel, Harry Taylor, Lincoln McCarthy
F: Steven Motlop, Tom Hawkins, Nakia Cockatoo
Foll: Rhys Stanley, Patrick Dangerfield, Joel Selwood
I/C: Zac Smith, Josh Cowan, Sam Menegola, Tom Ruggles

New faces: Brandan Parfitt, Tom Stewart, Zach Tuohy

Missing: Cory Gregson (foot, indefinite), Scott Selwood (toe, 1 week), Jake Kolodjashnij (groin, 1 week)

Notes: The Cats look likely to head west with a strong squad, with Cam Guthrie expected to be available after missing much of the JLT Community Series with a calf problem. Look for Zach Tuohy to play after slotting into a half-back role in three pre-season games while Tom Stewart is poised to make his debut, despite being rested from the final quarter of the Essendon win with hamstring tightness. Draftee Brandan Parfitt is in the frame after a promising pre-season, while rookie Zach Guthrie could be promoted after an encouraging two hit-outs, but his chances may be hurt after being left out of the final game against the Bombers. Jordan Murdoch, Darcy Lang and George Horlin-Smith are unlucky to miss out, given that Zac Smith likely plays against the Fremantle big men and Tom Ruggles is the logical match up for Michael Walters. - Jennifer Phelan

GOLD COAST v Brisbane Lions, Metricon Stadium, Saturday, March 25, 7.05pm AEST

B: Kade Kolodjashnij, Steven May, Sean Lemmens
HB: Jack Bowes, Rory Thompson, Adam Saad
C: Alex Sexton, Touk Miller, Pearce Hanley
HF: Michael Barlow, Tom Lynch, Jack Martin
F: Ben Ainsworth, Peter Wright, Callum Ah Chee
Foll: Jarrod Witts, Gary Ablett, Aaron Hall
I/C: Jarryd Lyons, David Swallow, Matt Rosa, Jesse Joyce

New faces: Ben Ainsworth, Michael Barlow, Jack Bowes, Pearce Hanley, Jarryd Lyons, Jarrod Witts

Missing with injury/suspension: Sam Day (hip, season), Jarrod Harbrow (ankle, NEAFL), Michael Rischitelli (ACL, 6-8 weeks).

Notes: Not a lot of places that need explaining in a relatively settled Suns lineup. Bowes and Ainsworth have done enough to earn their debuts, while the four mature midfielders – Hanley, Lyons, Barlow and Witts – are also certainties. The most difficult decision was the back pocket, but the disciplined nature of Lemmens' lockdown defence should be enough to get him the start. Harbrow will force his way back into the 22 after a couple of practice matches to overcome his ankle surgery, while Brayden Fiorini and Will Brodie are knocking on the door. - Michael Whiting

Adelaide v GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY, Adelaide Oval, Sunday, March 26, 2.50pm ACDT

B: Heath Shaw, Phil Davis, Nick Haynes
HB: Matt Buntine, Adam Tomlinson, Zac Williams
C: Josh Kelly, Callan Ward, Tom Scully
HF: Steve Johnson, Jeremy Cameron, Toby Greene
F: Devon Smith, Jon Patton, Rory Lobb
Foll: Shane Mumford, Dylan Shiel, Ryan Griffen
I/C: Nathan Wilson, Tim Taranto, Matthew Kennedy, Adam Kennedy

New faces: Tim Taranto

Missing with injury/suspension: Stephen Coniglio (ankle, 6 weeks), Aidan Corr (hand, TBC), Brett Deledio (calf, TBC), Matt de Boer (hamstring, 2-3 weeks), Lachie Whitfield (suspended, TBC)

Notes: Griffen gets his chance to start on the ball to offset the loss of Coniglio's hardness, while Jacob Hopper misses out after only playing half a game in the reserves in the pre-season. Buntine's ability to play tall gets him a spot to strengthen the back half against a powerful Crows outfit, with Corr's availability still up in the air, so Haynes to be used as the third tall. - Adam Curley

Essendon v HAWTHORN, MCG, Saturday, March 25, 7.25pm AEDT

B: Taylor Duryea, James Frawley, Josh Gibson
HB: Shaun Burgoyne, Ben Stratton, Grant Birchall
C: Isaac Smith, Tom Mitchell, Jack Gunston
HF: Cyril Rioli, Jarryd Roughead, James Sicily
F: Paul Puopolo, Tyrone Vickery, Luke Breust
Foll: Ben McEvoy, Liam Shiels, Jaeger O'Meara
I/C: Will Langford, Ricky Henderson, Kade Stewart, Billy Hartung

New faces: Ricky Henderson, Tom Mitchell, Jaeger O'Meara, Tyrone Vickery

Missing with injury/suspension: Jon Ceglar (ACL, late season) Luke Hodge (club suspension, 1 week)

Notes: Billy Hartung did just enough against Port Adelaide in the final JLT game to squeeze into the side at the expense of Ryan Schoenmakers. Luke Hodge would naturally play here if not for the club suspension. It is a different looking side with four new players from other clubs, while young midfielder Kade Stewart gets rewarded for an excellent summer with a round one berth. - Ashley Browne

St Kilda v MELBOURNE, Etihad Stadium, Saturday, March 25, 4.35pm AEDT 

B: Neville Jetta, Tom McDonald, Michael Hibberd
HB: Jayden Hunt, Oscar McDonald, Jordan Lewis
C: Dom Tyson, Nathan Jones, Christian Salem
HF: Christian Petracca, Jack Watts, Dean Kent
F: Angus Brayshaw, Jesse Hogan, Jeff Garlett
Foll: Max Gawn, Clayton Oliver, Jack Viney
I/C: Jake Melksham, Jake Spencer, Bernie Vince, Billy Stretch

New faces: Michael Hibberd, Jordan Lewis, Jake Melksham

Missing with injury/suspension: Sam Frost (toe, 2-3 weeks), Aaron vandenBerg (foot, 4-6 weeks), Josh Wagner (2 weeks), Mitch King (knee, TBC)

Notes: I had some difficulties picking this team and there are a number of players unlucky not to be selected. Hibberd (Achilles), Jetta (quad) and Kent (back) are all under injury clouds leading into round one, but I have picked them based on what they will add to the team if they are declared fully fit. Rookie defender Joel Smith is also under consideration, particularly with St Kilda's tall forward line, but given he missed the final JLT Series game it was hard to give him the nod. I've also left out Sam Weideman, who I think will play a lot of senior football this season, but I believe the Demons will opt to go with Max Gawn and Jake Spencer as the ruck/forward combination against the Saints. Jack Watts also holds onto his spot, despite a sub-par pre-season. - Ben Guthrie

NORTH MELBOURNE v West Coast, Etihad Stadium, Sunday, March 26, 1.10pm AEDT

B: Marley Williams, Scott Thompson, Sam Wright
HB: Luke McDonald, Robbie Tarrant, Sam Durdin
C: Shaun Atley, Jack Ziebell, Jamie Macmillan
HF: Nathan Hrovat, Ben Brown, Shaun Higgins
F: Lindsay Thomas, Jarrad Waite, Majak Daw
Foll: Todd Goldstein, Trent Dumont, Andrew Swallow
I/C: Ryan Clarke, Declan Mountford, Kayne Turner, Jy Simpkin

New faces: Sam Durdin, Nathan Hrovat, Declan Mountford, Jy Simpkin, Marley Williams

Missing with injury/suspension: Jed Anderson (shoulder, test), Ben Cunnington (suspension, 1 week), Taylor Garner (hip, test), Ben Jacobs (foot, 4-6 weeks), Oscar Junker (broken tibia, 12-14 weeks), Mason Wood (hamstring, 4-6 weeks), Paul Ahern (ACL, season)

Notes: Ben Brown is an automatic inclusion if he can prove his fitness in a VFL practice match on Saturday. Braydon Preuss is unlucky to miss after an impressive JLT Community Series, but we've given Majak Daw the nod as support ruckman given he's more likely to have an impact in attack. North preferred a two-talls backline for much of 2016 but given the Eagles' tall forward line we've included Sam Durdin as a third key backman, the 20-year-old edging out veteran Lachlan Hansen and medium defender Ed Vickers-Willis. We also opted for youth over experience in the midfield, overlooking Sam Gibson in favour of second-year tagger Declan Mountford. - Nick Bowen

PORT ADELAIDE v Sydney, SCG, Saturday, March 25, 4.35pm AEDT

B: Tom Jonas, Tom Clurey, Darcy Byrne-Jones
HB: Hamish Hartlett, Jack Hombsch, Matthew Broadbent
C: Brad Ebert, Travis Boak, Jared Polec
HF: Chad Wingard, Brett Eddy, Justin Westhoff
F: Aaron Young, Charlie Dixon, Sam Gray
Foll: Patrick Ryder, Ollie Wines, Robbie Gray
I/C: Jackson Trengove, Sam Powell-Pepper, Karl Amon, Riley Bonner

New faces: Brett Eddy, Sam Powell-Pepper

Missing with injury/suspension: Jasper Pittard (hamstring, 1 week), Jarman Impey (suspension, 1 week), Nathan Krakouer (suspension, 1 week), Aidyn Johnson (suspension, 1 week).

Notes: Midfield bull Sam Powell-Pepper – the No. 18 overall pick at the 2016 NAB AFL Draft – and mature-aged rookie Brett Eddy have forced their way into the Power's best 22. Defender Riley Bonner deserves his chance after great form in the pre-season competition. Wingard will revert to his traditional role in the forward line with Jarman Impey and Nathan Krakouer suspended, and Angus Monfries and Matthew White making their way back to full fitness. - Lee Gaskin

Carlton v RICHMOND, MCG, Thursday, March 23, 7:20pm AEDT

B: Dylan Grimes, David Astbury, Reece Conca
HB: Bachar Houli, Alex Rance, Brandon Ellis
C: Shane Edwards, Dustin Martin, Shaun Grigg
HF: Josh Caddy, Ben Griffiths, Nick Vlastuin
F: Daniel Rioli, Jack Riewoldt, Sam Lloyd
Foll: Toby Nankervis, Trent Cotchin, Dion Prestia
I/C: Anthony Miles, Kamdyn McIntosh, Jason Castagna, Dan Butler

New faces: Dan Butler, Josh Caddy, Toby Nankervis, Dion Prestia

Missing with injury/suspension: Shaun Hampson (back, indefinite); Steve Morris (knee, 1-2 weeks); Jack Graham (hamstring, 1-2 weeks)

Notes: Brandon Ellis has been backed to move into defence and will likely get first crack as a rebounder in round one. His form needs to improve, however, with Kamdyn McIntosh (named on the bench) and Oleg Markov other options here. Reece Conca has also returned as a small defender, forcing Jayden Short out of the team. Speed and defensive pressure should ensure Jason Castagna and Dan Butler get their chance in a smaller forward line. Nick Vlastuin is also selected as a midfielder/forward having trained and played there all pre-season. Connor Menadue, Corey Ellis and Markov are part of the future, but a lack of minutes and influence in the JLT Community Series means they're likely to be overlooked against the Blues. Mabior Chol is waiting in the wings if Ben Griffiths doesn't hit form soon, or the Tigers decide they need more forward line height and ruck support. - Nathan Schmook

ST KILDA v Melbourne, Etihad Stadium, Saturday, March 25, 4.35pm AEDT

B: Dylan Roberton, Nathan Brown, Jarryn Geary
HB: Leigh Montagna, Jake Carlisle, Sean Dempster
C: Jack Newnes, David Armitage, Nick Riewoldt
HF: Tim Membrey, Josh Bruce, Jack Billings
F: Jade Gresham, Paddy McCartin, Mav Weller
Foll: Tom Hickey, Seb Ross, Jack Steven

I/C: Luke Dunstan, Jack Steele, Sam Gilbert, Shane Savage

New faces: Nathan Brown, Jake Carlisle, Jack Steele

Missing with injury/suspension: Hugh Goddard (Achilles tendon, mid-season), Bailey Rice (finger, 4 weeks)

Notes: A right calf strain meant Leigh Montagna did not play in the JLT Community Series, so the veteran will be touch and go for round one, but if fit, should be picked based on his experience and consistency. Blake Acres improved last season but he needs to improve his kicking and decision-making before returning to the 22. - Dinny Navaratnam

SYDNEY v Port Adelaide, SCG, Saturday, March 25, 4.35pm AEDT

B: Nick Smith, Heath Grundy, Dane Rampe
HB: Callum Mills, Aliir Aliir, Jake Lloyd
C: Dan Robinson, Josh Kennedy, Dan Hannebery
HF: George Hewett, Sam Reid, Dean Towers
F: Kurt Tippett, Lance Franklin, Kieren Jack
Foll: Sam Naismith, Luke Parker, Zak Jones
I/C: Jeremy Laidler, Darcy Cameron, Harrison Marsh, Oliver Florent

New faces: Darcy Cameron, Oliver Florent

Missing with injury/suspension: Isaac Heeney (glandular fever, TBC), Jarrad McVeigh (calf, 3-4 weeks), Tom Papley (knee, 1 week), Gary Rohan (back, 1 week)

Notes: Cameron's inclusion allows the Swans to use Tippett primarily as a deep forward to stretch Port in defence, while Florent has shown his speed can have a huge impact inside 50. Robinson takes Heeney's spot in the 18 because he finds plenty of footy and uses it well, and Laidler wins a spot ahead of rookie Lewis Melican and draftee Jack Maibaum purely on experience. Lloyd and Jones are interchangeable and Marsh is extremely versatile, so is very handy off the bench. - Adam Curley

North Melbourne v WEST COAST, Etihad Stadium, Sunday, March 26, 1.10pm AEST

B: Jackson Nelson, Eric Mackenzie, Brad Sheppard
HB: Shannon Hurn, Jeremy McGovern, Sharrod Wellingham
C: Andrew Gaff, Matt Priddis, Lewis Jetta
HF: Jamie Cripps, Jack Darling, Chris Masten
F: Drew Petrie, Josh Kennedy, Mark LeCras
Foll: Nathan Vardy, Sam Mitchell, Luke Shuey
I/C: Dom Sheed, Elliot Yeo, Josh Hill, Sam Butler

New faces: Sam Mitchell, Drew Petrie, Nathan Vardy

Missing with injury/suspension: Nic Naitanui (knee, 4-5 months), Scott Lycett (shoulder, TBC), Willie Rioli (hamstring, 7-9 weeks), Simon Tunbridge (knee, 3-4 months), Jake Waterman (foot, TBC)

Notes: Fierce competition for spots makes predicting Adam Simpson's round one team fraught with danger. The Eagles coach has a handful of toss-of-the-coin decisions to make – not least choosing between whether to play two or three tall defenders. Tom Barrass and Will Schofield can consider themselves desperately unlucky to miss out here, but Eric Mackenzie appears to have Simpson's nod for round one after playing the final JLT Community Series game. The Eagles only used two key defenders against the Demons in a full dress rehearsal for round one, although that might change against a tall Roos forward line. Nathan Vardy and Drew Petrie deserve to shoulder ruck duties after impressing in pre-season matches, with Jonathan Giles waiting in the wings. A hamstring injury set back Liam Duggan's claims but he shouldn't be far away from pushing for the best 22, while Mark Hutchings is extremely stiff after a solid pre-season. Jack Redden's opportunities have been limited so far but he should be pushing for the best team. - Travis King

Collingwood v WESTERN BULLDOGS, MCG, Friday, March 24, 7.45pm AEDT

B: Matthew Boyd, Fletcher Roberts, Dale Morris
HB: Jason Johannisen, Easton Wood, Robert Murphy
C: Caleb Daniel, Tom Liberatore, Lachie Hunter
HF: Luke Dahlhaus, Stewart Crameri, Jack Macrae
F: Clay Smith, Travis Cloke, Jake Stringer
Foll: Tom Boyd, Liam Picken, Marcus Bontempelli
I/C: Zaine Cordy, Shane Biggs, Matt Suckling, Toby McLean

New faces: Travis Cloke

Missing with injury/suspension: Tory Dickson (groin, test), Jordan Roughead (hamstring, 4-5 weeks), Mitch Wallis (broken leg, mid-season)

Notes: The Dogs should go into round one with 18 of the 22 who played in last year's flag triumph, with only second-year midfielder Josh Dunkley set to miss selection on form. Travis Cloke appears certain to play his first game in the red, white and blue against his old side with fellow talls Jordan Roughead and Tom Campbell injured. Impressive draftee Tim English is an outside chance to partner Tom Boyd in the ruck. Despite strong JLT form, explosive midfielder Lin Jong looks likely to miss out. Key defenders Fletcher Roberts and Marcus Adams have both had indifferent JLT campaigns, with the former likely to get the nod to face the Pies. - Ryan Davidson