Three more debutants confirmed, De Koning locked in, Hawks outbreak, Dawson, Hinge & Milera to play

Three more debutants were confirmed on Wednesday, while Jordan Dawson and Pat Lipinski were both cleared to play along with cheap Geelong defender Sam De Koning with Mitch Duncan ruled out.

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TEAM NEWS

Key inclusions: Durdin (FP), Docherty (HB), C.Curnow (FF), McGovern (HB), Hewett (Foll), Gibcus

Key outs: Ralphsmith

Emergencies/Possible subs: Ralphsmith, Dow, Carroll (possible subs)

For Thursday’s Carlton-Richmond game, Hugo Ralphsmith (AF $258k SC $206k M/F)‘s omission was the big news given his ownership. Corey Durdin (AF $190k SC $143k FWD) being named offers another cheap forward option.

DEBUTANT ALERTS

Adelaide confirmed two debutants with Josh Rachele (AF $280k SC $184k M/F) and Jake Soligo (AF $220k SC $117k MID) to play against Fremantle on Sunday. Rachele, who went pick six in this year’s AFL Draft, was excellent in pre-season. Soligo was pick 36 in the draft.

Crows assistant coach Nathan van Berlo said:  They haven’t put a foot wrong all pre-season. We’ve seen glimpses every training session, they’ve got an element of poise about them.”

This year’s draft pick four Nick Daicos (AF $284k SC $193k MID) will also make his debut as expected. He is the most-owned player in AFL Fantasy (63%) and SuperCoach (80%).

Collingwood coach Craig McRae said: “He gets to play his first game… We certainly know what he can bring to the table. He’s had a great pre-season. He’s an elite decision maker. His skill execution is really high.”

UPDATES

One of the best pieces of news was Geelong coach Chris Scott confirmed Sam De Koning (AF $190k SC $123k D/F) will play in Round 1. Scott said: “One of the exciting things is Sam De Koning will play. He’s a young player who’s played AFL footy before but not much… He’ll be the key back at one end.”

It does look like potential debutant Cooper Stephens (AF $190k SC $123k MID) will miss out. Scott said: “He’s in the mix. We’ve got a group of players who we think can force their way into our team over the course of the year. He’s one of a group who’s had a super pre-season.”

Mitch Duncan (AF $841k SC $540k M/F) definitely won’t play due to a calf complaint. Scott said: “We’re going to hold Mitch back. That was a difficult decision because Mitch has been moving well the last couple of weeks but we’re going to play the long game with a few of our players.”

Scott also spoke about Patrick Dangerfield’s (AF $728k SC $567k MID) likely midfield role. He said: “That’s our intention (to play him more mid). We have played him more forward previously because of where he’s been at with his body and we don’t see that need as much this year as we have in the past.”

Returning to Collingwood, McRae also Pat Lipinski (AF $606k SC $359k MID) had overcome an ankle injury to make his club debut. He said: “Lipinski is going to debut for our footy club. He’s an outstanding young man. He was starved off opportunity and he gets an opportunity for us. He hasn’t put a foot wrong.”

McRae also spoke the likely role of Jordan De Goey (AF 707k SC $463k M/F). He said: “We don’t want to lose his ability to impact games forward but also get him up around the ball. I don’t think he’s ready to play midfield for 4 quarters. It’s going to be a balance.”

Returning to Adelaide, the Crows also revealed that Jordan Dawson (AF $745k SC $550k DEF) will play in Round 1 after a calf worry.

In further major news, Adelaide confirmed Matt Crouch (AF $649k SC $482k MID), Wayne Milera (AF $378k SC $271k DEF) and Mitch Hinge (AF $383k SC $180k DEF) will all play in Round 1 after long-term injuries in 2021.

There’s also talk of a COVID-19 outbreak within the Hawthorn playing group although no names have yet been confirmed. Josh Ward (AF $278k SC $180k MID) has also been battling calf tightness but should be OK to play.

Aaron Hall (AF $914k SC $572k DEF) missed a chunk of pre-season after injuring his hamstring in North’s first practice game but he’s set to play in Round 1. North Head of Football Performance Dan McPherson said: “He reintegrated back into full training last week so he’ll be available for selection … it’s actually given him a really good opportunity to build a strong re-conditioning block.”

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