Darcy out for Dockers, Hardwick swings the axe at Suns

Justin Chadwick |

Ruckman Sean Darcy has been ruled out of Fremantle’s clash with the high-flying Swans.
Ruckman Sean Darcy has been ruled out of Fremantle’s clash with the high-flying Swans.

Fremantle lost ruckman Sean Darcy to injury, Gold Coast coach Damien Hardwick made six changes and Essendon big man Sam Draper was a notable absentee on a big night of AFL selection calls.

Darcy was expected to front up for Friday night’s clash with Sydney despite being subbed out of last week’s win over Richmond with a tight calf.

But the Dockers are playing it careful with their prized big man, meaning Luke Jackson will go it alone against in-form Swans recruit Brodie Grundy.

The Dockers welcome back goalsneak Sam Switkowski following his three-match stint on the sidelines with concussion, while Patrick Voss also returns.

Sydney again overlooked Luke Parker and they lost defender Tom McCartin to concussion.

Draper missed last week’s win over West Coast due to a minor knee niggle, with the match coming just days after he was caught up in a podcast controversy.

The 25-year-old will be absent yet again on Saturday when Essendon face GWS.

The Bombers lost Xavier Duursma after he tore his quad at training on Wednesday, with Nick Hind coming into the side.

Star Giants midfielder Tom Green has retained his place despite last week’s ankle injury scare, while Stephen Coniglio is back from injury.

Hardwick wasn’t afraid to swing the axe for Saturday night’s encounter with North Melbourne at TIO Stadium, with Rory Atkins, Ethan Read and Caleb Graham all dropped.

Damien Hardwick.
Damien Hardwick was left disappointed after his Suns were thrashed by their Queensland rivals. (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS)

Wil Powell goes out after copping a five-match suspension for his homophobic slur, while Brayden Fiorini and David Swallow are being managed.

The Kangaroos lost Jye Simpkin to soreness, while Toby Pink and Zane Duursma were dropped.

Jeremy Finlayson returns for Port Adelaide’s Friday night clash with Geelong at GMHBA Stadium after serving his three-match ban for a homophobic slur, while Aliir Aliir has recovered from concussion.

Port captain Connor Rozee (hamstring), defender Lachie Jones (hamstring), ruckman Jordon Sweet (virus) and winger Jason Burgoyne (groin) were among the five outs.

The second-placed Cats decided against risking Tanner Bruhn (shoulder), while Jack Bowes and Zach Tuohy are being rested.

Mark O’Connor and Brandan Parfitt return to the team after being managed last week.

Richmond have been bolstered by the return of Noah Balta, Dion Prestia and Jack Graham for Saturday’s match against the under-fire Western Bulldogs.

Dylan Grimes has been rested, while Kamdyn McIntosh and Sam Naismith were dropped.

Dion Prestia.
Dion Prestia during Tigers training ahead of his AFL return against the Bulldogs. (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS)

The Dogs overlooked Rory Lobb and Caleb Daniel again, while Tom Liberatore is out indefinitely following his latest concussion.

Alex Keath, Joel Freijah, Rhylee West and Luke Cleary all come in.

Hawthorn regained Luke Breust for Saturday’s meeting with St Kilda, but James Sicily goes out injured.

The Saints have been boosted by the return of former Docker Liam Henry (hamstring) and Ben Paton (torn pectoral).

Collingwood have lost Beau McCreery (concussion), Brody Mihocek (hamstring) and Lachie Schultz (suspension) for Sunday’s match against West Coast at Marvel Stadium.

The Eagles will hand Tyrell Dwar his AFL debut, but will be without Jake Waterman (concussion), Elliot Yeo (groin) and Noah Long (knee).

The Brisbane Lions, who face Adelaide on Sunday, have lost Lincoln McCarthy and Darcy Gardiner to season-ending knee injuries.

Noah Answerth has been placed in concussion protocols, while Brandon Starcevich will miss a month of action with a calf strain.