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St Kilda have finally lost patience with forward Jack Billings, dropping the No.3 draft pick for Saturday night’s AFL clash with Sydney.
The 16th-placed Saints will also be without skipper Jarryn Geary (calf strain) as they look to snap a 10-match winless streak in the clash at Etihad Stadium.
Billings – the No.3 pick in the 2013 draft – had managed only six goals in the opening 11 rounds.
It’s quite the fall from grace for the 23-year-old, who had enjoyed a career-best season in 2017.
The Saints were able to recall key defender Nathan Brown from injury for a near-certain match-up against Sydney spearhead Lance Franklin.
Veteran midfielder Kieren Jack was rested for a week by the Swans among three changes to the team who beat Carlton last week.
Richmond ball magnet Anthony Miles has been called up for his first AFL match of the year, replacing Brownlow medallist Dustin Martin (calf strain) for Friday night’s clash away to Port Adelaide.
Miles made a compelling case for promotion in last weekend’s VFL win over Collingwood, amassing 44 disposals, 11 marks and three goals.
The Tigers also dropped premiership hero Jack Graham, whose place went to forward Jason Castagna.
Port made just one change, with Jasper Pittard coming in for fellow backman Jack Hombsch.
Adelaide sprang a surprise, recalling skipper Taylor Walker from injury for Sunday’s clash with Fremantle.
“Great to see Taylor back. He’s ready to go,” assistant coach Ben Hart said.
“He’s really confident in himself and he’s putting his hand up, not just because he thinks we need him to play, but because he’s ready to play.”
But All-Australian defender Rory Laird (hand) has joined Tom Lynch on the Crows’ still sizeable injury list.
The Dockers welcome back towering ruckman Aaron Sandilands, although they will be without suspended skipper Nat Fyfe.
North Melbourne lost in-form onballer Jed Anderson to a hamstring strain for Saturday’s game against Geelong, both sides having 7-4 win-loss records.
The Cats are unchanged for one of the few times in coach Chris Scott’s eight-year reign.
Fresh from what could be a season-defining victory away to the Crows, GWS made just one forced change for Saturday’s home game against Gold Coast.
Matt de Boer replaces Stephen Coniglio (concussion) in the Giants’ engine room.
The Suns have lost two key players – co-captain Steven May and onballer Aaron Hall – to injury.
After missing only one game with bone bruising on the knee, high-flying backman Jeremy Howe has been included in Collingwood’s extended squad of 26 for the huge Queen’s Birthday showdown with Melbourne at the MCG.
Howe will have to prove his fitness on Saturday at training.