North Melbourne fans will breathe a sigh of relief on Friday, with vice-captain, Robbie Tarrant, returning to the fold.

The key-defender was withdrawn from all training with a foot injury two weeks ago, and despite assurances from the club, doubts lingered over his availability for Round 1.

Tarrant will be a welcome addition to the side that will play Melbourne at Arden St in a practice match from 1.10pm.

North will blood more youngsters following on from Friday night’s match against the Dogs, with first pick at the 2019 NAB AFL Draft, Charlie Comben, and rookie selection, Matt McGuinness, both named in the squad of 28.

Mid-season draft selection Lachlan Hosie, who impressed at VFL level last season, has been named in attack.

The game will give Rhyce Shaw the chance to test the Roos’ emerging talent, with Bailey Scott, Curtis Taylor, Joel Crocker and Tristan Xerri all named to play.

While North brings Tarrant back, several stars will still be missing.

Shaun Higgins and Todd Goldstein will play in Friday night’s State of Origin game, Ben Cunnington is out due to soreness, while Jack Ziebell, Jared Polec, Jy Simpkin, Nick Larkey, Tarryn Thomas, and Ben Brown are among those to miss due to injury or load management.

Friday’s practice match will be live-streamed on and the North Melbourne app, from 1.10pm AEDT. 

North Melbourne squad

1. M.Daw
2. M.Williams
3. J.Anderson
6. T.Garner
8. B.Scott
14. T.Dumont
15. P.Ahern
16. A.Bonar
17. J.Pittard
18. S.Atley
19. J.Walker
21. D.Tyson
23. B.McKay
24. S.Durdin
25. R.Tarrant
30. C.Comben
31. C.Taylor
32. M.Wood
34. J.MacMillan
36. J.Crocker
38. T.Xerri
40. T.Murphy
41. M.McGuinness
42. T.Campbell
43. A.Hall
44. C.Zurhaar
46. L.Hosie

VFL-listed player Adam Tipungwuti will also be part of the North Melbourne squad, wearing no. 28.