Carlton coach Mick Malthouse has sprung a selection shock, naming ruckman Cameron Wood for his first AFL game for his third club.
Carlton have called on forgotten AFL ruckman Cameron Wood to help the Blues past North Melbourne on Friday night.
Wood was a shock selection late in the AFL rookie draft by Mick Malthouse, who coached the 204cm ruck at Collingwood.
After stints at Brisbane and the Magpies, Wood admitted his surprise to be drafted to the Blues last November.
Should he turn out for his third AFL club, it will be his first AFL game in nearly two years after spending last season at VFL side Williamstown.
He will wear the No.36 made famous by Carlton captain Mark Maclure – in the same week Maclure criticised Malthouse as “friendless” and a “bully”.
Carlton forwards Jarrad Waite and Jeff Garlett were again overlooked despite Malthouse saying both were in the selection mix.
Alongside Wood, Mitch Robinson and Troy Menzel come into the Blues line-up for Andrew Walker (knee) and Blaine Johnson.
North Melbourne have recalled Jack Ziebell after missing the Kangaroos’ last two wins along with Luke McDonald.
Wood will need to summon the bravery of the three-time premiership player as he takes on one of the league’s premier ruckmen in Todd Goldstein.
In a big week for big men, Fremantle ruck Aaron Sandilands will miss the trip to Melbourne to take on St Kilda with a back complaint, while St Kilda swaps Tom Hickey (knee) for Billy Longer.
Jonathon Griffin will deputise for Sandilands in Saturday’s twilight match at Etihad Stadium.
Geelong have also decided to manage Mark Blicavs, recalling Dawson Simpson.
Their opponents GWS Giants have taken a big approach to their forward line, bringing in their pair of No.1 draft picks.
Tom Boyd and Jonathan Patton will line up for the Giants, who have also named Josh Hunt to play his first game against his old side for the first time in his 208-game career.
As foreshadowed, Port Adelaide have made good on their promise to pick former captain Dom Cassisi for a farewell game after the veteran announced his retirement.
Two of the biggest selection bombshells to drop on Thursday do not involve teams playing this weekend.
Collingwood announced Dane Swan would miss a month of AFL with a foot injury while Hawthorn will be able to call on Josh Gibson for next weekend’s blockbuster with Sydney.
The key defender returns in the nick of time, with Sydney’s gun forward-line travelling south to take on the Hawks next Saturday night.