AFL 2021: All the Round 3 teams as they drop
AFL 2021: All the Round 3 teams as they drop

Teams: Swans make big call on back-to-back Buddy

Lance Franklin is set to back up from his successful return game to face reigning premier Richmond at the MCG on Saturday.

All-Australian defender Jake Lloyd confirmed on Thursday morning that Franklin had been named in the Sydney Swans' side to take on the Tigers.

Franklin kicked three goals in the Swans' 33-point defeat of Adelaide that maintained their perfect start to the year after the shock upset of Brisbane in Round 1.

 

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"He kicked a crucial goal early to steady the ship and we run a little taller when Bud's running out next to us," Lloyd said.

"He's had a tough couple of years with injury and just the way he's been able to lead this group (has been impressive).

"We've got a young, inexperienced forward line and his knowledge he passes down to those guys has been crucial."

 

Sydney boasts the first two AFL Rising Star nominees of the season, in Errol Gulden and Braeden Campbell, and a number of other emerging players are performing key roles.

John Longmire's team is already almost halfway to matching last year's five-win tally, buoying 27-year-old Lloyd's hopes of winning an elusive premiership before his playing career ends.

 

SCROLL DOWN TO SEE EVERY TEAM'S SELECTION DILEMMAS

 

"We had a couple of tough years previously, but just to see these guys come in and really buy in straight away; it gives us something to look forward to over the coming years," he said.

"I've played in a couple of Grand Finals (in 2014 and 2016) - they were losing ones - and I really want to win a premiership."

The Swans were forced into home isolation this week after being caught up in the Brisbane COVID-19 drama, due to being in the city on March 20, but were able to train on Tuesday.

They will fly to Melbourne on Thursday ahead of the Richmond clash, almost nine months after the clubs met in a dour, wet slugfest at the Gabba that saw Tigers coach Damien Hardwick criticise Longmire's approach.

There were only seven goals kicked between the sides on that day, but Sydney's kicked a league-leading 37 majors across the first two rounds in 2021.

"That adds a lot of excitement, but Richmond was in a pretty similar position four years ago - they'd come off a pretty bad year and things turned pretty quickly," Lloyd said.

"They had a lot of their young kids step up and have impact on games and that's what we look to do going forward."

 

ROUND 3 TEAMS

THURSDAY, APRIL 1

Collingwood vs. Brisbane, Marvel Stadium, 7.40pm (AEDT)

PIES

B: B. Maynard, J. Roughead, J. Madgen

HB: J. Noble, D. Moore, J. Howe

C: J. Crisp, S. Pendlebury, T. Brown

HF: C. Brown, B. Mihocek, J. De Goey

F: W. Hoskin-Elliott, M. Cox, J. Thomas

FOLL: B. Grundy, M. Cox, J. Thomas

INT: J. Daicos, B. Sier, I. Quaynor, C. Mayne
EMG: T. Ruscoe, B. McCreery, D. Cameron, N. Murphy

In: C. Mayne,

Out: J. Elliott (injured), T. Ruscoe

 

LIONS

 

B: R. Lester, H. Andrews, J. Payne

HB: D. Rich, G. Birchall, Z. Bailey

C: D. Zorko, L. Neale, M. Robinson

HF: C. Cameron, E. Hipwood, C. Ah Chee

F: L. McCarthy, J. Daniher, T. Berry

FOLL: C. Ballenden, J. Lyons. H. McCluggage

INT: M. Adams, D. Robertson, B. Starcevich. T. Fullarton
EMG: J. Prior, R. Mathieson, K. Coleman, H. Sharp

In: M. Adams, C. Ballenden, D. Robertson

Out: O. McInerney (injured), K. Coleman, J. Prior, H. Sharp

 

FRIDAY, APRIL 2

North Melbourne vs. Western Bulldogs, Marvel Stadium, 6.20pm (AEDT)

Adelaide vs. Gold Coast, Adelaide Oval, 7.50pm (AEDT)

 

SATURDAY, APRIL 3

Richmond vs. Sydney, MCG, 1.45pm (AEDT)

Essendon vs. St Kilda, Marvel Stadium, 4.35pm (AEDT)

West Coast vs. Port Adelaide, Optus Stadium, 8.10pm (AEDT)

 

SUNDAY, APRIL 4

Carlton vs. Fremantle, Marvel Stadium, 3.20pm (AEST)

GWS vs. Melbourne, Manuka Oval, 6.10pm (AEST)

 

MONDAY, APRIL 5

Geelong vs. Hawthorn, MCG, 3.20pm (AEST)

 

What is your club’s biggest selection dilemma ahead of Round 3?
What is your club’s biggest selection dilemma ahead of Round 3?

 

SELECTION DILEMMAS AT YOUR CLUB

 

Adelaide

The Crows should welcome back Luke Brown (achilles) and maybe Jake Kelly, should he recover from the concussion suffered in the Patrick Dangerfield bump, so Nick Murray might be a chance of dropping out of the side after his debut. 

Daniel Talia has suffered a minor setback in his return from knee surgery, while Matt Crouch has no return date from his groin complaint. 

Darcy Fogarty performed well in the SANFL, in a midfield role, but has he done enough to get back into the side? 

 

 

 

Brisbane

It's been a rollercoaster week for the Lions following their controversial loss to Geelong last weekend and having to relocate to Melbourne after Brisbane's snap three-day lockdown.

Ruckman Oscar McInerney will miss with an ankle injury and has been replaced by Connor Ballenden, while Jarrod Berry - who was a late scratching against Geelong - also won't face the Magpies.

The club flew in an extra four players - Darcy Gardiner, Rhys Mathieson, Marcus Adams and Ballenden - to their mini hub in Melbourne ahead of their clash with Collingwood.

Exciting young teen Dev Robertson was spotted in Lions camp down in Melbourne and has been named for his second AFL game - and his first since Round 1 of last year.

 

 

Carlton

 

Coach David Teague has put some of his senior players on notice for their lack of defensive intent ahead of Sunday's game against Fremantle, promoting tenacious rookie Luke Parks for his AFL debut as a reward for his ability to apply pressure.

The Blues could also welcome Eddie Betts back for his first game of the season, while Jack Silvagni is in the mix to come back, as the club deals with the loss of Jack Martin and Zac Fisher and a 0-2 start.

Off the back of a stinging review of last week's loss to Collingwood, Teague said the time for words was over and he wanted actions from the group when taking on the Dockers.

"Our game is based on being strong in the contest and trying to pin the ball in our half, and we are just not doing that the moment," Teague said on Thursday.

"We allowed too many easy goals, our defensive intent wasn't strong enough.

"(Against) Richmond, our effort was there, but our system broke down. I thought against Collingwood, our effort and our intent wasn't at the level.

Eddie Betts hasn’t featured at AFL level in 2021. Picture: Andrew Henshaw
Eddie Betts hasn’t featured at AFL level in 2021. Picture: Andrew Henshaw

"We need to get that right or we won't win many games of footy."

Parks' inclusion after some strong VFL form was a pointed example to the entire group that defensive pressure was a non-negotiable.

"We are bringing in Luke Parks this week for his debut because … he just competes," Teague said. "He gives his absolute all and he has won his teammates over."

"By just competing, that's a requirement to wear the Navy Blue jumper. You have got to do that and last week we let ourselves down."

Parks turns 20 in a fortnight. He was originally from New South Wales, but was drafted from Glenelg in the rookie draft.

Teague conceded Patrick Cripps had been playing sore, but had the benefit of a 10-day break between games and would strip a lot fitter against the Dockers.

Swingman Mitch McGovern (back) is closing in being fit to play his first game of the season, while Caleb Marchbank is also in the frame.

 

Collingwood

Collingwood stars Jordan De Goey and Brodie Grundy have been cleared to take on the Lions on Thursday night after returning negative covid tests.

The two Magpies, who both starred in Collingwood's impressive win over Carlton last Thursday night, were noticeable absentees at the Holden Centre on Monday.

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley later confirmed they were isolating away from the group as a safety measure.

"They had a sniffle and missed training, so they followed COVID protocols and stayed home away from the group," Buckley said.

Speaking on Monday, Buckley said this was happening often in the 2021 season.

"It's not a big issue, this is probably happening across every club across the competition every single week," he said.

"They're playing."

Brodie Grundy will play against Brisbane on Thursday night after receiving a negative COVID test result. Picture: Michael Klein
Brodie Grundy will play against Brisbane on Thursday night after receiving a negative COVID test result. Picture: Michael Klein

Buckley described the moving of this week's clash with Brisbane to Marvel Stadium, with the Magpies to now face the Lions at the Gabba later this year, as "common sense."

"We always felt it wasn't going to be isolated to 2020 and there were going to be different times when this reality may occur," he said,

"The fact it's happened early in the season is probably no surprise, but this won't be the first or the last time we're going to have to make adjustments like this.

"We had a good session today and we understand we give up a home game later in the year for this game to be played away from a COVID risk area."

Meanwhile, veteran Chris Mayne will also return to the Pies' side to face the Lions.

Mayne, 32, had missed Collingwood's two pre-season matches as he recovered from a bout of concussion, but has bounced back strongly to prove his fitness over the past two weeks.

The swap is the only change for the Magpies, with last week's medical substitute Trey Ruscoe again named as an emergency, alongside Darcy Cameron, Beau Mccreery and Nathan Murphy.

 

Essendon

The Bombers' 2020 start has gone from bad to worse with the injury carnage that has left Dylan Shiel (knee, 4-8 weeks), Jye Caldwell (hamstring, 6-8 weeks) and Sam Draper (syndesmosis, 10-12 weeks) on the sidelines for extended periods.

Dyson Heppell is no certainty to return after being a late withdrawal against Port Adelaide with a back spasm while coach Ben Rutten is hopeful mid-forward Jake Stringer will be available for Saturday night's clash with St Kilda.

Stringer got through more game time in his second VFL game back, alternating his time between the midfield and forward.

He is now ready to play.

Jake Stringer is ready to return after two matches for Essendon’s reserves. Picture: Josie Hayden
Jake Stringer is ready to return after two matches for Essendon’s reserves. Picture: Josie Hayden

David Zaharakis (knee) returned in the VFL last week, but is likely to need more game time before being match hardened enough to play AFL football.

Matt Guelfi put his hand up with a strong performance in the VFL and could be elevated.

The ruck issue is a huge concern for Essendon.

Key position forward Peter Wright is expected to fill the breach at stages. Others in the mix in the first half of the season include teenager Nick Bryan and Andrew Phillips.

 

Fremantle

The big question for the Dockers is who will replace Nat Fyfe after he suffered a concussion against the Giants. 

The dual Brownlow Medal winner will be a huge loss for Fremantle, but star forward Michael Walters could return for Round 3 according to Justin Longmuir - which would soften the blow. 

With Fyfe playing predominantly as a forward in the big win over GWS, maybe youngster Josh Treacy comes in to replace him in attack as he returns from a two-game suspension in the WAFL. 

Treacy kicked seven goals for Peel Thunder against Claremont in a pre-season game last week. 

 

Geelong

Four players who would have been expected to partner forward Tom Hawkins throughout this season will be in the stands watching on Easter Monday.

They are Jeremy Cameron, Gary Rohan, Esava Ratugolea and Patrick Dangerfield, who likes to float in and out.

Following Rohan's suspension, Josh Jenkins looms as a ready-made replacement there.

He was dropped after a goalless, eight possession performance in Round 1.

Big man Darcy Fort will come into the selection frame as well after recovering from a knee injury.

He hasn't played since Round 7 last year but was named in the best from Saturday's VFL hitout and kicked two goals the week before.

Mitch Duncan (calf) is on the edge of a return, and so is Sam Menegola (shoulder).

First-year player Max Holmes is also getting close after two best afield performances in the VFL.

 

Gold Coast

The Suns have two more injury concerns out of their clash with the Roos last weekend, with tall forward Sam Day and young defender Connor Budarick suffering knee injuries.

The versatile Chris Burgess would be the likely substitute if Day is ruled out this weekend.

Meanwhile, the experienced Jarrod Harbrow would come in for Budarick for a like-for-like replacement.

 

GWS Giants

Coach Leon Cameron hinted there would be changes after an ordinary Round 2 display out west.

Sam Reid has acceped a two-match ban for his bump on Nat Fyfe.

Jake Riccardi (ankle) appears a likely inclusion, assuming he pulls up OK from playing the majority of a VFL practice match at the weekend.

Jeremy Finlayson is another who could come into calculations to bolster the forward line, with Zach Sproule the vulnerable one.

The Giants have consistently stated that recruit Jesse Hogan (quadriceps) would resume at reserves level.

Tom Green and Connor Idun were dropped after Round 1, but Green, in particular, should be in the mix after Cameron's scathing review of his midfield.

Could he make a Stephen Coniglio-like statement at the selection table?

 

 

Hawthorn

Hawthorn will likely have to cover the loss of Will Day, who suffered what looked like a worrying ankle injury in the loss to Richmond.

Denver Grainger-Barras hyperextended his knee in the VFL when close to selection so will need to have that assessed.

It will likely push back his hopes for several weeks.

Mitch Lewis kicked four goals in the VFL as he works into form after his back injury and Alastair Clarkson suggested he was happy with the club's current setup but might consider whether he is ready.

 

 

Melbourne

Who goes out for Jake Melksham?

The forward looks ready to go for his first AFL game of the year after kicking two goals for Casey in a VFL practice match last weekend, having overcome a recent hamstring injury.

Defender Michael Hibberd (ankle) similarly impressed in that VFL match to put his hand up for selection.

Defender Neville Jetta has struggled in the opening rounds, while Oskar Baker did not get a run on the weekend after being a medical substitute against St Kilda.

 

North Melbourne

 

An Energizer Bunny-like player who has been compared to Gold Coast Suns' star Matthew Rowell will make his much-anticipated AFL debut for North Melbourne on Friday.

The No.3 pick in last year's AFL National Draft, Will Phillips was forced to bide his time as he missed AFL selection in the opening rounds after a strong summer on the track.

However, the 18-year-old had his first competitive hitout in 18 months in a VFL practice match last weekend and did enough to earn an instant senior call-up.

 

Phillips will be injected into the Kangaroos' struggling midfield against the Western Bulldogs in a bumper Good Friday clash at Marvel Stadium.

"The last three weeks for me haven't been easy," Phillips said.

"I've had ups and downs, as everyone does, so to finally get the call up and to hear that for the first time is just unbelievable.

"I just can't wait to get out there."

Phillips will wear the No.29 jumper made famous by AFL games record holder and North Melbourne champion Brent Harvey.

Harvey has worked closely with Phillips since he arrived at Arden Street.

"He backed me even when I didn't get selected and he's always had that belief in me, as have the other coaches," Phillips said.

"So I'm really grateful for him and hopefully I can live up to the expectation that goes with that jumper."

Ben Cunnington will be a welcome boost for the Roos. Picture: Michael Klein
Ben Cunnington will be a welcome boost for the Roos. Picture: Michael Klein

In another ray of sunshine for the struggling Roos, gun midfielder Ben Cunnington will return after a long absence because of concussion.

Cunnington, who missed most of last season with a back injury, suffered a hit during the pre-season which put him out of action for a couple of months.

Kangaroos coach David Noble confirmed Cunnington had finally passed the AFL's concussion protocols and would play against the Dogs on Good Friday.

 

Port Adelaide

Ken Hinkley is facing a selection headache. 

Connor Rozee is back and Hinkley said he won't leave him out for the clash against West Coast in Perth, while Mitch Georgiades made the most of Todd Marshall's late withdrawal against Essendon, kicking four goals against the Bombers. 

Port Adelaide coaching staff have said this won't guarantee Georgiades a spot against the Eagles. 

As for who Rozee might come in for, Kane Farrell might be in the gun after he only touched the ball nine times in the thrashing of the Bombers. 

 

Richmond

Zip-two with two premiership heroes set to return against the Swans … is it any wonder the Tigers are still the team to beat!

Nick Vlastuin will return from his hyperextended knee he suffered in Round 1, which caused him to miss last week's win over Hawthorn.

Bachar Houli has worked diligently to overcome his calf injury and could immediately step straight back into the seniors.

The Tigers' depth is at extraordinary levels and is the envy of most clubs in the AFL, so the selectors are going to have to make some tough decisions in the coming weeks.

 

 

 

Sydney

The Swans are suddenly a tough side to break into.

The young guns are firing and there don't appear to be any openings.

James Rowbottom (knee) will undoubtedly force his way in if he is deemed fit, after missing Saturday's victory over Adelaide.

Speedster Matt Ling was the unused medical sub, while hard-running winger Dylan Stephens will be thereabouts.

Hayden McLean made way for Lance Franklin's return, so he or Will Hayward would be the likeliest replacement if Sydney opts to give the superstar forward the week off.

Callum Sinclair may be another option, although Sam Reid is filling the back-up ruck duties behind Tom Hickey.

Familiar names such as Colin O'Riordan, Kaiden Brand, Ryan Clarke, Sam Gray, Lewis Taylor and James Bell are waiting in the wings.

 

St Kilda

Ruckman Rowan Marshall played a half in the VFL last weekend as he edges closer to a return from a foot injury.

Although, coach Brett Ratten told Fox Footy on Monday night he's still a "couple of weeks" away from an AFL return.

Fellow tall Paddy Ryder (personal leave) has been doing a fair bit of running in his time away from the club and is considered two to weeks away from an AFL return.

Jimmy Webster failed a concussion test at the weekend and will miss against Essendon on Saturday.

Boom recruit Brad Crouch will play his first game in St Kilda colours this weekend after serving his off-season suspension.

Dan Hannebery (calf) is likely to miss another week.

 

 

 

 

West Coast

Adam Simpson is cautiously optimistic skipper Luke Shuey will be back for the huge clash against Port Adelaide.Shuey has been out since he tweaked a hamstring before Round 1 but the Eagles are hopeful he is back for this week. Elliot Yeo's return from a groin injury is still unknown, as is Simpson's desire to make changes following the thrilling loss to the Western Bulldogs. 

 

Western Bulldogs

Former captain Easton Wood is ready to roll after two weeks in the VFL returning from a hamstring injury. He will surely come straight back in, with the back six struggling against the Eagles tall timber. Ryan Gardner was good in Round 1 but struggled in Round 2. Beveridge has a decision to make but Zaine Cordy seems to have fallen out of favour. Jamarra Ugle-Hagan has a thumb injury and likely dislocated his thumb, so he won't be ready for selection yet. The Dogs are further investigating that injury. Jason Johannisen didn't get on as the medical sub so will lieu return to the VFL.

Originally published as Teams: Swans make big call on back-to-back Buddy



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