Lloyd & Darcy to miss Round 1, Sicily & Xerri named, nine debutants confirmed including Horne-Francis

The first Thursday teams of the season brought plenty of surprises with Jake Lloyd, Sean Darcy and Nat Fyfe among the key outs, while James Sicily was named plus nine debutants in total.

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DEBUTANT ALERTS

Nine senior debutants were confirmed on a busy Thursday, with the first cab off the rank largely expected, with North naming top draft pick Jason Horne-Francis (AF $290k SC $207k MID).

Hawthorn pair Josh Ward (AF $278k SC $180k MID) and Connor MacDonald (AF $240k SC $117k MID) were also confirmed. Hawks Head of Footy Rob McCartney: “We’re thrilled that both Josh & Connor will make their AFL debuts on Sunday, they really deserve this opportunity.”

Port Adelaide offered a surprise with father-son Jackson Mead (AF $190k SC $123k MID) getting his chance. He was pick 25 in the 2019 AFL Draft and is a 184cm 20-year-old midfielder.

Sydney also sprung a surprise with Angus Sheldrick (AF $256k SC $130k MID) selected. He was pick 18 in the 2021 AFL Draft and is a 179cm 18-year-old midfielder.

Essendon confirmed a debut for SSP signing Nic Martin (AF $190k SC $102k FWD) who is a 192cm medium forward.

St Kilda also handed debuts to Mitch Owens (AF $226k SC $117k MID) and Jack Hayes (AF $190k SC $102k F/R). Owens was pick 33 in this year’s draft. Hayes was an SSP signing, won last year’s SANFL Jack Oatey Medal

West Coast named Hugh Dixon (AF $190k SC $102k F/R) in their starting 18 for Sunday’s game, thus he’ll play. He’s an SSP signing and was previously on Fremantle’s list.

TEAM NEWS

Jake Lloyd (AF $823k SC $586k DEF) was a major omission for Sydney with no explanation offered, with Vince Rugari from the Sydney Morning Herald reporting that he had entered COVID protocols.

Fremantle ruckman Sean Darcy (AF $786k SC $642k RUCK) was another surprise Round 1 absentee with the Dockers explaining a calf issue.

Freo executive general manager of football Peter Bell said: “Sean Darcy has got some awareness in his calf. He has been carrying it for a few training sessions, and we aren’t prepared to risk him for the game in Round 1. Like Nat (Fyfe), we are very confident that Sean will be available for Round 2.”

Indeed, Fyfe (AF $709k SC $546k MID) was ruled out after a compressed pre-season with a sore back keeping him out.

James Sicily (AF $510k SC $448k DEF) appeared in Hawthorn’s media conference on Thursday and thus, contrary to some reports/rumours, he is not in COVID protocols and available for Round 1, thus named.

St Kilda v Collingwood

Key Ins: Owens, J.Hayes, N.Daicos

Key Outs: Ryder, W.Kelly

Emgs/Possible Subs: Wanganeen-Milera, Harrison

Line-up considerations: Marshall (ruck), De Goey (FF), Pendlebury (HB), N.Daicos (HB)

Geelong v Essendon

Key Ins: S.De Koning, Stewart, Stengle, Shiel, Baldwin, Martin, Caldwell

Key Outs: Duncan, Stringer

Emgs/Possible subs: C.Stephens, Evans, Whyte, Hobbs

Line-up considerations: Dangerfield (foll), McGrath (wing)

GWS Giants v Sydney

Key Ins: McCartin, D.Stephens, Sheldrick, Mills

Key Outs: Lloyd

Emgs/Possible subs: Stein, Gould

Line-up considerations: Taranto (HF), J.Kelly (foll), Coniglio (foll), McInerney (HB), D.Stephens (wing)

Brisbane Lions v Port Adelaide

Key Ins: Rayner, Zorko, J.Berry, Mead,

Key Outs: Sinn, S.Hayes, McEntee

Emgs/Possible subs: H.Sharp, S.Hayes, Skinner

Line-up considerations: Rayner (FP), Zorko (ctr), Butters (HF), Rozee (HF)

Hawthorn v North Melbourne

Key Ins: Sicily, Ward, Macdonald, Mitchell, Lynch, Maginness (26), Horne-Francis, Xerri, Hall

Key Outs: Comben

Line-up considerations: Sicily (CHB), Ward (wing), Mitchell (foll), Lynch (ruck), Macdonald (FP), Xerri (FP), Horne-Francis (FP), Thomas (foll)

Adelaide v Fremantle

Key Ins: Dawson, Hinge, Rachele, Crouch, Soligo (26), Milera (26), Erasmus (26), Brodie

Key Outs: Darcy, O’Driscoll, Fyfe, Hamling

Line-up considerations: Rachele (FP), Hinge (wing), Dawson (wing), Crouch (foll), Brodie (ctr), Chapman (BP)

West Coast v Gold Coast Suns

Key Ins: Dixon, Rioli, Hough (26), J.Williams (26), Jamieson (26), Naish (26), Witts, Moyle (26), Davies (26)

Key Outs: Hollands, Tsitas

Line-up considerations: Dixon (CHF), Rioli (HF), Witts (ruck), Rowell (foll)

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