For the first time since the final home-and-away match in 2021, Phoenix Spicer will run onto the field in North Melbourne colours.

Spicer has been included in the Kangaroos' VFL side to take on Box Hill on Sunday afternoon.

While it's already been confirmed the young forward will only play approximately three quarters of football in his long-awaited return from a hamstring injury, but his inclusion is surely a sight for sore North Melbourne eyes.

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With Charlie Comben, Callum Coleman-Jones and Max Mitchell-Russell to miss, the 20-year-old will bring much-needed x-factor and electricity in front of goal.

Senior-listed small Jack Mahony will line up with Spicer, having overcome a lower leg injury he sustained at training, and hope to mount a case for a return to the firsts.

Jacob Edwards is in line to feature for the first time since the Roos hosted Geelong in Round 7, the young ruck having missed the last three games as he completed a conditioning program.

Utility Patrick Walker has been named for his first game since Round 8. Having been selected on every line at least once this season, he will offer flexibility in the absence of several key players.

Box Hill sit on the fringes of the finals spots, but have won four of their last five games and built a healthy percentage of 126.2. A narrow defeat to the Casey Demons, who have yet to be beaten this season, represents the Hawks' only blemish.

One of the Kangaroos' primary challenges will be to contain Fergus Greene and Ben Cavarra, the former Western Bulldogs forwards who have booted 41.17 between them over seven VFL games this season.

With the seniors set to play Gold Coast in the Top End on Saturday, Roos fans can get down to support the reserves for free. All AFL club members will be granted access to Smithy's VFL matches this weekend if they show their membership card at the gate.

>> Full VFL fixture and results

Learning from defeat

After kicking the first goal of the final term to open up a two-point lead against Sandringham last week, the momentum looked to be going in the Kangaroos' favour. The midfield was winning the ball, the forwards were kicking goals and the defence was organised and calm.

A nose injury suffered by Marty Hore proved to be the catalyst for the Zebras' comeback. In his absence they kicked three quick goals on a young North defence. When he returned they kicked three more, as the Kangaroos took risks in an attempt to get back into the game.

This season has been full of strong learning experiences for North's young AFL-listed defenders, with Matt McGuinness, Atu Bosenavulagi and first year players Josh Goater and Jackson Archer all having played strong roles on the weekend and across the season.

Every week another piece of the puzzle falls into place for each player, and the Kangaroos' young back six should be able to draw on the memory of that momentum swing when the Hawks come at them this weekend.

Sunday, June 5

North Melbourne v Box Hill Hawks at Arden Street Oval, 1.05pm AEST

B 31. J. Goater 34. J. Archer 41. M. McGuinnesss
HB 48. H. Murphy 53. M. Hore 15. A. Bosenavulagi
C 35. C. Lazzaro 33. P. Walker 46. D. Tyson
HF 1. J. Mahony 2. J. Stephenson 54. K. Answerth
F 32. J. Edwards 36. P. Spicer 47. M. Walker
R 66. Z. Monkhorst 70. J. Watkins 56. Y. Dib
INT 50. H. Dick 55. C. Hinkley 57. C. Smith
  71. T. Howard    
23RD 58. B. Stevens    
EMG 52. S. Collins 59. J. Lipscombe 60. J. Guthrie
  80. J. Alford    

Ins: Mahony, Edwards, Walker, Spicer
Outs:
Coleman-Jones, Comben, Guthrie, Mitchell-Russell, Alford

>> The game will be streamed live on AFL.com.au and the AFL Live Official App

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