Main content

Murphy's heartache

Tom Murphy has missed out on the Hawks' Grand Final team

HAWTHORN defender Tom Murphy has become the heartbreak story of Grand Final week after being dropped for Saturday's clash against the Sydney Swans to make way for returning skipper Luke Hodge.

The Swans have named an unchanged line-up for the big game.

Click here to see the FULL Grand Final teams


Murphy was a late replacement for Hodge last weekend, receiving his call-up when the captain was forced to withdraw from the side that narrowly beat Adelaide after contracting a severe bout of gastro.

But after Hodge proved his fitness over recent days, Murphy, who has played just six senior games this season, was the unlucky man forced out.

The 26-year-old has been named as an emergency alongside ruckman Max Bailey and defender Kyle Cheney.

Murphy, who played in all three of Hawthorn's finals last year, had a similarly devastating experience when the club won the premiership in 2008.

That year Murphy played 18 games, but he was dropped after the Hawks' qualifying final win over the Western Bulldogs and was unable to regain his place in the team.

He was named as an emergency for the '08 Grand Final, watching from the stands as Hawthorn upset Geelong and won the flag.

Hodge, who has been named as ruck-rover for Saturday's clash with the Swans, will be a crucial addition to the  line-up.

An inspirational leader, he won the Norm Smith Medal in 2008 despite carrying a broken rib into the Grand Final.

Calf and knee injuries have meant Hodge has played only nine games this season.

Defender Brent Guerra had already been ruled out of Hawthorn's team.

Guerra was unable to recover from the hamstring injury he suffered during the final quarter of the victory over West Coast in round 23.

The Swans ruled out a little man of their own earlier in the week, with former Hawk Ben McGlynn failing to overcome the hamstring injury he sustained in the qualifying final against Adelaide.

With McGlynn not being considered, the Swans have chosen to field the same side that defeated Collingwood at ANZ Stadium last Friday night.

The absence of McGlynn means ex-West Coast and Richmond forward Mitch Morton, who has played just four games for the Swans this season, two of them finals, has gained an unlikely berth in the biggest match of the year.

All Australian defender Ted Richards, who suffered an ankle injury during the preliminary final win over the Magpies, has proved his fitness this week.

Richards will line up on the Hawks' All Australian forward Lance Franklin.

Ruckman Mike Pyke has been named on the bench, confirming that he will become the first Canadian to play in a Grand Final.

The Swans' emergencies are Trent Dennis-Lane, Tony Armstrong and Tommy Walsh.

Those three players were also named as emergencies last weekend.

Adam McNicol is an AFL Media reporter. Follow him on Twitter: @AFL_AdamMcNicol