Stephens dropped, Durdin into protocols, Hayes in 26 along with Saints debutant & key rookies hold spots

Collingwood Rising Star Nick Daicos earned more praise, cheap Carlton forward Corey Durdin and Collingwood’s Taylor Adams entered H&S protocols, while Jack Hayes held his spot in St Kilda’s 26 with a debutant in their 18.

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TEAMS (keys ins/outs)

Key Ins: O’Connor (tag), J.McInerney, Duggan, W.Rioli, Prestia, Darcy, Walker, Windhager

Key Outs: H.Sharp, D.Stephens, Gaff (inj), Adams (H&S), Meek, Durdin (H&S)

Key Holds: McInnes, Hough, Naish, Dixon, T.Dow, Ralphsmith, Gibcus, O’Driscoll, Erasmus, Hayes (26), Hinge (26), T.Wanganeen, Wanganeen-Milera, Ward, MacDonald

Emergencies/Possible subs: Dempsey, D.Stephens, M.Bergman, A.Johnson, Sonsie, Flynn, Aleer

Corey Durdin (AF $268k SC $180k FWD) is out of the Carlton side. The club explained: “Corey Durdin comes out of the side due to AFL Health and Safety Protocols. He – along with Jack Carroll, Jesse Motlop and Tom Williamson – will be out of isolation early next week, at which point they will return to the Club to commence their preparations for Round 5.”

Andrew Gaff (AF $817k SC $496k MID) is out for West Coast with an ankle injury, while Braydon Preuss (AF $411k SC $204k RUCK) will be sole ruck for GWS with Matt Flynn named as an emergency.

Dylan Stephens (AF $518k SC $202k MID) has been dropped by Sydney but is among the four emergencies, so could be medi sub.

Jack Hayes (AF $367k SC $187k F/R) has been named in St Kilda’s 26 but on an extended bench for Sunday’s game. Saints coach Brett Ratten was non-committal on him, when he said: “We played tall & kicked 18 goals but we didn’t have as much pressure in our front half. The match committee conversation is do we change the model? We’ll find out this afternoon.”

DEBUTANT ALERT

Marcus Windhager (AF $198k SC $117k M/F) will debut for St Kilda. The 185cm medium forward went pick 47 in the 2021 AFL Draft and had 31 disposals with two goals in the VFL last weekend.

UPDATES

Collingwood coach Craig McRae praised Nick Daicos (AF $457k SC $250k MID) after his Rising Star nomination.

He said: “He’s been outstanding. He’s such a mature head. He’s playing above his age level. We’re rapt with the way he’s going about it. Privately we think he’s been Rising Star for a number of weeks.”

The Pies coach also ruled out Taylor Adams (AF $748k SC $497k MID) who has entered protocols and may miss Round 5.

McRae said: “He’s out with COVID protocols. Out Monday or Tuesday. He started feeling a bit unwell after the game. We don’t know how he’ll feel coming out of it. Hopefully he’ll be available next Thursday night.”

McRae also flagged Ash Johnson (AF $190k SC $123k FWD) for a potential debut after good VFL form, having been named an emergency. He said: “He played really well on the weekend. He’s playing above the VFL level. He’s asking a lot of questions of match committee.” Johnson kicked four goals in the VFL last weekend.

Richmond rookie Tyler Sonsie (AF $236k SC $117k MID) is looming for a debut soon, having been named as an emergency. Tigers coach Damien Hardwick said: “He looks like an AFL player. He’s got to work on his fitness. He can find the ball… I can see him playing for us in the not-too-distant future. Whether it’s this week or that, we’re not too sure.” Sonsie had 34 disposals and one goal in the VFL last weekend.

Dion Prestia (AF $732k SC $463k MID) is set to return for the Tigers, with Hardwick saying all he needs to do is get through training on Thursday. Prestia’s return may negatively impact the role of Thomson Dow (AF $341k SC $198k M/F) who has had good CBAs lately.

James Tsitas (AF $190k SC $102k MID), Charlie Constable (AF $513k SC $213k MID) and Elijah Hollands (AF $190k SC $123k M/F) all appear to be in the mix for selection at Gold Coast after good form in the VFL but were not named. They will likely come into contention in the next few weeks.

Suns coach Stuart Dew said: Stuart Dew: “There will be some change, largely due to the form underneath. We want to reward those lads that have showed up for a couple of weeks in a row and pre-season.” In the VFL last weekend, Tsitas had 25 disposals and two goals, while Constable (20 disposals and 14 tackles) and Hollands (22 disposals) also impressed.

Caleb Serong (AF $659k SC $451k MID) has missed again for Fremantle with knee soreness, with stand-in coach Jaymie Graham saying he is “more unlikely than likely” earlier in the day.

Graham said that Sean Darcy (AF $786k SC $642k RUCK) was likely before being named. He said: “Sean is fine. He’s looked good on the track this week. He’s bouncing around, that’s good signs.” Graham also declared David Mundy (AF $742k SC $542k MID) “good to go” which will impact their midfield mix.

Chad Wingard (AF $598k SC $437k M/F) will miss Round 4 and possibly more with a calf injury. Hawthorn coach Sam Mitchell said: “There is a chance he’ll just miss the one but there’s a chance it could be longer. He had a big stop mark down his calf, looks like there is some further damage but not sure at this stage.”

Mitchell also spoke about the role of Tom Mitchell (AF $890k SC $580k MID) whose numbers are down this season. He said: “I wouldn’t say he’s played more (forward). We’ve had more guys going through the midfield which pushing guys out. He’s obviously a premier midfielder. We’ve probably sacrificed their individual games to get a better collective result.”

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