Lance Franklin, Dan Hannebery, Sam Mitchell and Dean Cox are among the biggest AFL recalls of round 20, when five debutants will also play.
The youngest player in the league will make an AFL debut, the oldest will sit out, and the biggest name has been named – but might not play.
Lance Franklin has been recalled by Sydney coach John Longmire alongside Dan Hannebery in one of Sydney’s strongest sides of the year as they tune up for September.
Franklin, a late withdrawal last round with knee soreness, is one of the Swans’ biggest concerns for the rest of the season as they chase a second flag under Longmire.
Their biggest premiership rivals, reigning champs Hawthorn, also boast returning names ahead of their MCG date with Melbourne.
Sam Mitchell and Isaac Smith will be back for the Hawks while speedster Billy Hartung has recovered from an elbow injury sustained in round 12.
Outside of the flag fancies, five sides will hand out AFL debuts in round 20.
Carlton will debut Irish recruit Ciaran Sheehan, Brisbane have made Jonathan Freeman their ninth first-gamer for the year and the time has come for Essendon’s Orazio Fantasia.
Fremantle will blood Max Duffy against Geelong while North Melbourne have also named 18-year-old Kayne Turner, the youngest player on an AFL list, against GWS Giants in Canberra on Saturday.
Turner was drafted at 17 but turned 18 on New Year’s Eve, sneaking him in to draft contention by a single day.
Kangaroos’ recruiting manager Bryce Lewis said the inside midfielder would make an impact after bulking up 8kg to a heftier weight of 75kg.
“If he had been born six hours later, he wouldn’t have been eligible for the draft,” he said. “He’s a slightly built lad, but he’s unconditional in his attack on the ball.”
Essendon veteran Dustin Fletcher will miss Friday night’s crunch clash with Richmond due to groin and finger injuries.
Fletcher was absent from the Bombers’ training session on Thursday, with coach Mark Thompson confirming the 39-year-old wouldn’t tackle the Tigers at the MCG.
“He can’t play, otherwise he would have been playing,” coach Mark Thompson joked.
Thompson said Fletcher would “hopefully” be back next week, with Jobe Watson and Michael Hibberd also in contention for round 21.
Young forward Joe Daniher has also been recalled, having undergone surgery on his fractured clavicle last month.
Melbourne coach Paul Roos has swung the axe after his side’s miserable showing against Brisbane.
Jordie McKenzie, Cameron Pedersen, Sam Blease and Dean Terlich have been dropped, with Luke Tapscott also withdrawn with a knee injury.
Collingwood have decided not to pull back midfielder Dane Swan ahead of time, sparing him a trip to Perth to play West Coast, who have recalled Dean Cox.