Sport AFL Blues swing axe, Giants unchanged

Blues swing axe, Giants unchanged

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The Carlton and GWS selections for their AFL clash this weekend perfectly reflect the two clubs’ fortunes.

The Blues made a whopping seven changes – six of them unforced – as they try to turn around a wretched start to the season.

Coming off the best win in their short history, the Giants made no changes to the team that beat reigning premiers Hawthorn.

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It is the first time since they joined the AFL in 2011 that GWS have named an unchanged lineup.

Carlton lost veteran defender Andrew Walker to a knee injury and also dropped Liam Jones, Dylan Buckley, Mark Whiley, Blaine Boekhorst, Nick Graham and Clem Smith for Saturday’s Etihad Stadium game.

But the good news for the Blues is there are some handy inclusions – Chris Yarran returns from suspension and Andrew Carrazzo is back from injury.

Troy Menzel is an obvious replacement for Jones, while Simon White, Jason Tutt, Matthew Watson and Matthew Dick were also recalled.

Jack Watts drops a chest mark against West Coast.
Jack Watts has been dropped from the Melbourne team to play Hawthorn. Photo: Getty

A week after he started as the substitute, Melbourne’s much-scrutinised top draft pick Jack Watts was dropped for Saturday’s match against Hawthorn at the MCG.

It will be the first time since Watts has been out of the senior team since round six in 2013, when he was sidelined for three games with a hamstring injury.

James Frawley will play against his old club, with the Hawthorn defender recovering from a pectoral muscle injury.

The Demons also dropped Ben Newton and Cam Pedersen, while Jay Kennedy-Harris has a groin injury.

Rohan Bail, Jack Grimes, Viv Michie and Matt Jones come into the side.

The Hawks also recalled Angus Litherland, with Brendan Whitecross and Jed Anderson the omissions.

St Kilda also are unchanged for Saturday’s game in Adelaide against the Crows – the first time that has happened under coach Alan Richardson.

Rory Sloane’s cheekbone fracture means Ricky Henderson returns to the Crows lineup.

Dustin Fletcher celebrates his 40th birthday today.
Dustin Fletcher returns to the Bombers line-up.

Essendon regained veteran defender Dustin Fletcher for Friday night’s game against fierce rivals North Melbourne.

They lost David Zaharakis (ankle), dropped James Gwilt and Will Hams, while youngsters Jason Ashby and Kyle Langford were the other recalls.

North rested Mason Wood for Jamie Macmillan.

Geelong regained Mathew Stokes from his Achilles injury and former Melbourne utility Sam Blease will play his first game for the Cats.

Josh Cowan (hamstring) and Nakia Cockatoo were the omissions for Saturday night’s game against Sydney at ANZ Stadium.

The Swans promoted Dean Towers for Isaac Heeney (knee).

West Coast has brought back Mark Hutchings and left out Jackson Nelson for Saturday night’s home game against Gold Coast.

As expected, the undermanned Suns recalled Danny Stanley, Trent McKenzie, Brandon Matera and Harley Bennell from their club suspensions.

They also promoted Jack Leslie, but lost Rory Thompson (hip), Clay Cameron (calf) and Adam Saad (hamstring) and dropped Mitch Hallahan.

Sunday’s squads feature Brisbane naming out of form midfielder James Aish.

Fremantle could regain Luke McPharlin, while Richmond might give Ty Vickery another chance.

Richmond pair Liam McBean and Connor Menadue are set to make their AFL debuts, as is Western Bulldogs midfielder Bailey Dale.


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