After a week of rest and recuperation, North Melbourne heads to its home away from home at Blundstone Arena to take on GWS in Round 13.

With the Round 11 loss to St Kilda still fresh in the memory, David Noble and the match committee may look to change things up in search of victory against the Giants.

North Media looks at who is in the mix.

Key defender Robbie Tarrant is edging closer to a return having not appeared in North colours at any level so far in 2021.

The veteran was pencilled in for a half of reserves football heading into the bye, but unfortunately due to lockdown restrictions the VFL was cancelled and he was unable to secure any playing time.

After so long on the sidelines the coaches may still look to bring him back through the VFL, but if David Noble and his staff managed to “put their thinking hats on”, we may just see Tarrant back this weekend.

After undergoing surgery to repair a hairline fracture in his scaphoid, Jaidyn Stephenson could make his return to the side for the first time since the Round 8 clash with Collingwood.

The midfielder had been an ever-present in the side up until that point, and could provide an injection of class and quality should he be included in the side to take on the Giants.

Since the 15-point VFL win against Essendon, North’s unselected players haven’t been able to put their hands up at VFL level due to a lack of fixtures, but Tristan Xerri’s strong vein of form has been prevalent all season.

The young ruck/forward has been a dominant force in the VFL, and accumulated 30 contested possessions from 35 disposals in his last outing.

He’s well and truly keeping the pressure on Tom Campbell and Todd Goldstein for a spot in the senior side.

Young defender Kyron Hayden nears closer to a return from a hamstring injury, and could be available for selection should he make it through this week’s training.

After taking a conservative approach with his recovery, should Hayden be selected it will be his first senior appearance since Round 5.

Eddie Ford was earmarked by John Blakey as the next potential youngster to debut in the recent Member Q & A, and it’s not hard to see why. 

Coming off of his strongest performance in North colours against the Bombers at VFL level, Ford’s overhead ability and competitive grit should transition well to AFL level, should he be presented with the opportunity.

After spending two weeks as the medical substitute, Will Phillips returned to the VFL and was a point of difference in the win over the Bombers.

Essendon couldn’t contain Phillips at the coalface, as the first-year player racked up 33 touches and 8 tackles.

After spending much of his time forward at AFL level, it was refreshing to see Phillips’ ability in his natural midfield position, and he’s certainly pushing hard for a recall.

Atu Bosenavulagi was quieter than some of his teammates against the VFL Bombers as he finished with 13 disposals, but he was still an effective rebounding and defensive presence on the half-back flank.

Patrick Walker made his return from injury against the Bombers but it could still be too early for his first call up.