Who’s pushing for selection, who’s under the pump?

WHO IS a chance to play in round six?

In this week’s In the Mix we find the players who are giving their selectors plenty of food for thought.

Who’s going out, who’s sore, who is under the pump? Our reporters attempt to pick all the R6 ins and outs. Check it out.

Skipper Rory Sloane‘s season-ending ACL injury will force the Crows into one change, with Jackson Hately set to finally get his chance after banging down the door in recent weeks at SANFL level. Harry Schoenberg may also be considered for a recall after being dropped last week to rediscover his confidence in the state league, where he managed 20 touches. Riley Thilthorpe pressed his case for a recall with four goals in the SANFL, putting pressure on Lachlan Gollant who was quiet and goalless in Saturday’s win over Richmond, but Adelaide may prefer to stick with a winning formula. Mitch Hinge is likely to be fit again after a hip issue last week and could force out last week’s medical sub James Rowe, who lost his spot in the 22 to Shane McAdam.

R5 medical substitute: James Rowe (replaced Rory Sloane)

Verdict: Hately for Sloane. – Ben Somerford

Rory Sloane is helped off Adelaide Oval in the Adelaide v Richmond game, R5, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Big decision for Chris Fagan this week with Keidean Coleman available after six weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring injury. Although he’s in the Lions’ best 22, it might be safer to give Coleman a week or two in the VFL to build his match fitness, particularly with the senior team winning. Nakia Cockatoo, Deven Robertson and Jaxon Prior all remain on the fringes after a VFL bye at the weekend.

R5 medical substitute: Nakia Cockatoo (unused)

Verdict: Unchanged – Michael Whiting

Keidean Coleman gets his kick away against the Western Bulldogs in the 2021 AAMI Community Series. Picture: Getty Images

The Blues will give Patrick Cripps until the very last minute to prove his fitness, having missed just one week with a minor hamstring injury. Set to catch a charter flight to Western Australia later this week ahead of Saturday night’s clash with the Dockers, the club isn’t concerned about long-distance travel playing a factor in its decision. Should the skipper play, he’ll likely return for Paddy Dow. It would mean either Matt Cottrell or Jack Newnes is relegated into the sub role. Lachie Plowman was the best in a VFL loss to Richmond last week, finishing with 21 disposals and eight marks. A decision will have to be made on whether he is selected ahead of rookie Luke Parks down back. Fellow youngsters Jack Carroll (23 disposals) and Sam Philp (two goals) continue to push for selection through strong performances in the reserves. Oscar McDonald remains unlikely with a back injury.

R5 medical sub: Paddy Dow (unused)

Verdict: Cripps in for Dow, should he prove his fitness, with Cottrell to be named the sub. – Riley Beveridge

Carlton’s Patrick Cripps celebrates a win during round two, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Jordan Roughead won’t play on Anzac Day after undergoing finger surgery over the weekend, following Collingwood’s third consecutive loss. The Pies could regain Brody Mihocek, Jack Ginnivan and Beau McCreery for the clash against the Bombers. Ollie Henry kicked three goals in the VFL after being dropped. Tyler Brown (26 disposals and nine clearances) and Fin Macrae (25 touches and a goal) continue to mount cases for another opportunity in the senior side, as does Caleb Poulter. 

Round 5 substitute: John Noble replaced Darcy Cameron at three-quarter-time

Verdict: Brody Mihocek, Jack Ginnivan and Beau McCreery all to return, with Jordan Roughead, Mason Cox and Tom Wilson making way ahead of Anzac Day. – Josh Gabelich

Collingwood’s Brody Mihocek celebrates a goal against Essendon on Anzac Day, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Andrew Phillips will miss this week’s clash with Collingwood after a hamstring injury ended his game early against Fremantle. The question will be which way do the Bombers replace him? Is it with ruckman Nick Bryan? Or do they throw in a key forward like Kaine Baldwin, who kicked five goals in the VFL last week, or Harrison Jones, who returned from injury for his first game of the season? Jones may need one more week before being ready for a senior call up. The Bombers don’t have a heap of options to come into the side despite their poor start to the season. Tex Wanganeen kicked two goals in the VFL and could be a chance after being an emergency last week.

R5 medical substitute: Tom Cutler (replaced Andrew Phillips)

Verdict: Phillips and Alec Waterman out for Bryan and Baldwin, with Wanganeen to replace Cutler as the substitute. – Callum Twomey

Essendon ruckman Andrew Phillips sits on the bench with a hamstring injury against Fremantle in R5, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

The Dockers are sitting pretty in second after three straight wins with a 4-1 record, so they are unlikely to be making many unforced changes. Small forward Lachie Schultz, who underlined his value by winning the Glendinning-Allan Medal in the round three Derby win, should be available after a stint in health and safety protocols and likely replaces Bailey Banfield. Alex Pearce reiterated his grip on one of their two key defender spots ahead of Griffin Logue by keeping Peter Wright goalless in Sunday’s win over Essendon. Darcy Tucker was unlucky to be made medical sub upon his return from concussion protocols. Given Tucker was unused and Nathan O’Driscoll looks to have taken his spot, Fremantle may want him to get game-time in the WAFL, with Banfield dropping to sub.

R5 medical substitute: Darcy Tucker (unused)

Verdict: Schultz for Banfield. – Ben Somerford

If Jack Henry is ruled out with a foot injury, expect the Cats to recall Jake Kolodjashnij to the 22 after naming him as the medi-sub on Easter Monday. Shaun Higgins and Esava Ratugolea were both emergencies on the weekend and didn’t play at all, but could be considered for the trip to Tasmania to face North Melbourne on Saturday. Geelong has been proactive in resting players – Joel Selwood, Higgins and Kolodjashnij have all spent time out of the senior side – and might opt to give Patrick Dangerfield a week to freshen up after Chris Scott revealed post-game he is carrying niggles right now. Francis Evans was the star in the VFL last Thursday, kicking three goals from 21 touches, while Ollie Dempsey has been banging on the door for some time. 

Round 5 substitute: Jake Kolodjashnij replaced Jack Henry at three-quarter time

Verdict: Kolodjashnij to replace Henry if he is ruled out. Shaun Higgins to return at the expense of Luke Dahlhaus. – Josh Gabelich

Shaun Higgins breaks a Dyson Heppell tackle, Geelong v Essendon, R1, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Some tough decision for the Suns ahead of Sunday’s QClash against Brisbane. Mabior Chol (adductor) and Jack Lukosius (knee) both ran on Tuesday and are likely to play, although still in some doubt. Connor Budarick has played three matches in the VFL after missing last season following knee surgery, while Jeremy Sharp (40 disposals and two goals) and Chris Burgess (six goals) excelled in the VFL at the weekend. Caleb Graham could also be considered to bolster defence against the Lions’ tall forward line.

R5 medical substitute: Rory Atkins (replaced Chol)

Verdict: Lukosius for Corbett providing he’s fit and Sharp for Alex Davies (rested) – Michael Whiting

Jack Lukosius breaks away for Gold Coast against Carlton in R4, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

The cavalry is returning for the Giants ahead of Friday night’s game against St Kilda – and not before time. After missing six games through suspension, superstar forward Toby Greene will play his first game in 2022. Ruckman Braydon Preuss is also available after missing last week through suspension, as is impressive defender Isaac Cumming, who missed the loss against Melbourne through the League’s health and safety protocols. Jarrod Brander kept his name in the coach’s thoughts with 22 disposals and 4.3 at VFL level.

R5 medical substitute: Jake Riccardi (unused)

Verdict: Greene for Xavier O’Halloran, Preuss for Matt Flynn and Cumming for Jake Stein – Michael Whiting

Max Lynch is set to return after missing the past month due to a combination of ailments. With Ned Reeves set to miss Anzac Day – and potentially longer – the former Magpie becomes very important for Sam Mitchell. Chad Wingard is no certainty to return but could play his first game since round three if he overcomes a calf issue, while Will Day is set to play after missing Easter Monday due to concussion. Box Hill didn’t play on the weekend, but Ned Long has been pushing his case for a debut and could come into contention. James Worpel made a strong impact after coming on as the medi-sub.

Round 5 substitute: James Worpel replaced Ned Reeves at quarter-time.

Verdict: Max Lynch to get another chance at senior level, replacing Reeves. Will Day to return and replace Tom Phillips. – Josh Gabelich

Max Lynch of Hawthorn takes on Todd Goldstein of North Melbourne in R1, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

The Demons will regain key forward Ben Brown from a VFL suspension for Sunday night’s Anzac Day Eve clash with the Tigers. He should replace youngster Sam Weideman, who has been held to just one goal in his last two AFL games. Toby Bedford has been an unused substitute at AFL level in his last four matches, but continues to push for senior selection with two goals in the reserves last week. Adam Tomlinson (24 disposals, six marks) was also good for Casey, having lost his place in the backline to premiership defender Harrison Petty. First-year youngster Blake Howes, who was closing on an AFL debut, will miss two months with a stress fracture in his foot.

R5 medical sub: Toby Bedford (unused)

Verdict: Brown to replace Weideman as the side’s only change. – Riley Beveridge

Bayley Fritsch and Ben Brown of Melbourne celebrate a goal against Gold Coast in R2, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

The Kangaroos have a series of selection decisions to make ahead of Sunday’s clash with the Cats in Tasmania. Cam Zurhaar will exit the AFL’s concussion protocols and should play, while youngster Paul Curtis continues to press for an AFL debut and kicked four goals in the VFL last week to stake his claim once again. They could both be in the frame to replace Jack Mahony, who is battling an ankle injury. Key forward Charlie Comben also kicked four goals from seven marks in the VFL and remains in contention, while Matt McGuinness won 28 disposals from 12 marks and is an option to add reinforcements down back. Jed Anderson had 23 disposals from limited game time in the VFL and will likely need another week to build his conditioning, while Tarryn Thomas is an outside chance to return after battling internal bruising from a collision last month. Aaron Hall will go out of the team, having suffered yet another frustrating hamstring injury.

R5 medical sub: Tom Powell (replaced Aaron Hall)

Verdict: Zurhaar and Curtis to return for Hall and Mahony, with Thomas given another week to recover. – Riley Beveridge

Cam Zurhaar of North Melbourne spoils Shannon Hurn of West Coast in R2, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

The Power are cautiously optimistic Brownlow medallist Ollie Wines will be available to face West Coast on Saturday after his recent heart condition. Wines’ return would likely squeeze out youngster Jackson Mead, with off-season recruit Trent Dumont impressing in his recent opportunities. Captain Tom Jonas said on Tuesday he would be fine to face the Eagles after pulling up stiff following a knee knock in Sunday’s loss to Carlton, with either of Sam Skinner or Trent McKenzie, pending fitness, his probable replacement if unavailable. Lachie Jones missed Sunday’s loss having entered health and safety protocols and will come into calculations. Kane Farrell has played two SANFL games back after an ACL injury and is getting closer, while Dylan Williams kicked three goals for the Magpies to push his case.

R5 medical substitute: Jed McEntee (unused)

Verdict: Wines for Mead. – Ben Somerford

Ollie Wines in action for Adelaide against Port Adelaide in R3, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

There will be at least one forced change off the back of Richmond’s disappointing loss to Adelaide, with the dashing Hugo Ralphsmith ruled out with a short-term rib injury. Co-captain Dylan Grimes (hamstring) is still unavailable, while Josh Caddy has also suffered a medium-term hamstring injury in the VFL. Jake Aarts could force his way into the 22 on the back of 32 touches, seven clearances and a goal in the VFL, while it remains to be seen if Kane Lambert is brought straight in after 25 touches and a goal.

R5 medical substitute: Jake Aarts (replaced Hugo Ralphsmith)

 Verdict: Aarts for Ralphsmith. – Sarah Black

Jake Aarts launches a kick for Richmond against Carlton in R1, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Zak Jones won’t return to the senior side after entering health and safety protocols, but there are a few midfielders banging on the door. Jack Bytel hasn’t played senior football this year but put his hand up at Trevor Barker Oval on Saturday, collecting 27 touches in his best performance of 2022 to date. Mitch Owens is also hunting another opportunity after making his debut in round one, after gathering 26 disposals and five clearances. Leo Connolly continues to be in the mix, while young ruckman Max Heath produced his best performance yet at the club, amassing 28 hit-outs, 16 disposals and three goals. Jimmy Webster is set to be available after missing last weekend due to health and safety protocols.

Round 5 substitute: Ryan Byrnes (unused)

Verdict: Hard to make a change to this side right now. – Josh Gabelich

There’s a chance Lance Franklin could return to play Hawthorn on Anzac Day next Monday, but coach John Longmire said he would be reassessed later in the week after missing just one match following surgery on his broken finger. Josh Kennedy was rested against West Coast last week and would be a likely inclusion, while youngsters Will Gould (25 disposals) and Dylan Stephens did well in the VFL.

R5 medical substitute: Josh Kennedy (unused)

Verdict: Kennedy for James Bell and Franklin (if he’s fit) for Sam Reid – Michael Whiting

Josh Kennedy in action for Sydney against Geelong in R2, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Jeremy McGovern is due out of health and safety protocols late in the week ahead of Saturday’s game with Port Adelaide, so his availability is unclear, but would come in for Harry Edwards if cleared to play. Andrew Gaff (ankle) and Oscar Allen (foot) are both unlikely to return yet. Xavier O’Neill will come into contention having been unlucky to lose his spot before a strong display with 27 disposals in the WAFL. Jake Waterman kicked two goals with 18 disposals and 12 marks in the WAFL, while forward Jack Petruccelle is available again after missing two games due to protocols. Sam Petrevski-Seton may be considered after a minor calf issue, with Jamaine Jones and Zac Langdon at risk of losing their spots. Mature-age draftee Greg Clark played managed minutes in the WAFL on the weekend after a pre-season shoulder injury, but West Coast are unlikely to bring him in until he’s played a full game at the lower level. Likewise, Luke Edwards (groin) may be managed back via the WAFL.

R5 medical substitute: Jake Waterman (unused)

Verdict: McGovern, O’Neill and Petruccelle for H.Edwards, Jones and Langdon. – Ben Somerford

Jeremy McGovern in action for West Coast against Collingwood in round four, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Coming off a huge win over North Melbourne it is hard to see the Bulldogs making too many unforced changes this week. Riley Garcia will go out with his knee injury, and Mitch Wallis is a solid chance to hold his spot in the starting 22 having become a go-to medical substitute for the Dogs. Or they could look at blooding Robbie McComb for an AFL debut after his 28-disposal and one-goal effort in the VFL, with Louis Butler also a chance as well as Rhylee West and Hayden Crozier. Lachie Hunter will also need to be replaced as he takes time away from the club due to personal issues.

R5 medical substitute: Mitch Wallis (replaced Riley Garcia)

Verdict: McComb and Wallis in the 22 for Garcia and Hunter. – Callum Twomey

Robbie McComb in action at Western Bulldogs training in February, 2022. Picture: Getty Images


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