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Blues opt not to risk Murphy as Crows give Crouch his shot

AFL's big issue, Eddie-had, Crouch back Nat Edwards and Matt Thompson present your Wednesday Footy Feed
Marc Murphy won't get a pre-season game in before the real stuff begins - ${keywords}
Marc Murphy won't get a pre-season game in before the real stuff begins

CARLTON skipper Marc Murphy has been left in cotton wool for the Blues' final NAB Challenge hit-out, although stars Patrick Cripps and Andrew Walker will take the field for their first games against the Sydney Swans.

Murphy has been on the comeback trail from follow-up surgery on his reconstructed shoulder in December and has played no part in the pre-season competition.

Important ruckman Matthew Kreuzer, along with Dale Thomas and Bryce Gibbs return for the Etihad Stadium clash after sitting out the loss to Essendon, while No.1 draft pick Jacob Weitering will pull on the navy blue for the second time. 

The Swans have named another strong line-up headlined by Lance Franklin, Dan Hannebery, Josh Kennedy and emerging guns Isaac Heeney and Callum Mills. 

Key defender Ted Richards (calf) and Sam Reid (hamstring) won't face the Blues as they look to be cherry-ripe for round one.

Meanwhile, Adelaide's injury-plagued rising star Brad Crouch is in line for his first pre-season hit-out against Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium, joining brother Matt in the squad.

The Crows have named a powerful line-up for the Friday night clash, including stars Taylor Walker, Rory Sloane, Sam Jacobs and Eddie Betts.

As expected, Gary Ablett has been left out from the Suns' third-straight NAB Challenge match, although the club says the superstar is certain to be ready for round one.

Former Eagles midfielder Matt Rosa and defender Nick Malceski are among eight players returning to the side that went down in a thriller to West Coast at Joondalup.

Richmond v Port Adelaide
Thursday 10 March, 7:10pm AEDT at Etihad Stadium

1. Nick Vlastuin, 2. Dylan Grimes, 3. Brett Deledio, 4. Dustin Martin, 5. Brandon Ellis, 6. Shaun Grigg, 7. Ben Lennon, 8. Jack Riewoldt, 9. Trent Cotchin, 10. Shane Edwards, 12. David Astbury, 14. Bachar Houli, 15. Andrew Moore, 16. Shaun Hampson, 17. Daniel Rioli, 18. Alex Rance, 21. Jacob Townsend, 23. Kane Lambert, 24. Ben Griffiths, 29. Ty Vickery, 30. Reece Conca, 33. Kamdyn McIntosh, 35. Nathan Broad, 37. Connor Menadue, 41. Mabior Chol, 44. Adam Marcon, 46. Jason Castagna

Notable absentees: Anthony Miles, Ivan Maric, Taylor Hunt, Troy Chaplin

1. Travis Boak, 3. Jake Neade, 5. Matthew Broadbent, 7. Brad Ebert, 8. Hamish Hartlett, 9. Robbie Gray, 12. Jackson Trengove, 13. Cameron O’Shea, 15. Karl Amon, 16. Ollie Wines, 18. Jimmy Toumpas, 19. Matthew White, 20. Chad Wingard, 22. Charlie Dixon, 23. Matthew Lobbe, 24. Jarman Impey, 27. Alipate Carlile, 28. Jay Schulz, 29. Jasper Pittard, 32. Dougal Howard, 33. Darcy Byrne-Jones, 36. Jack Hombsch, 39. Justin Westhoff, 40. Aaron Young, 41. Brendon Ah Chee, 42. Tom Jonas, 46. Sam Gray

Notable absentees: Jared Polec, John Butcher

Carlton v Sydney Swans
Friday 11 March, 5.50pm AEDT at Etihad Stadium

1. Andrew Walker, 4. Bryce Gibbs, 6. Kade Simpson, 7. Dylan Buckley, 8. Matthew Kreuzer, 9. Patrick Cripps,11. Sam Kerridge, 12. Blaine Boekhorst, 13. Jed Lamb, 15. Sam Docherty, 17. Sam Rowe, 22. Jason Tutt, 23. Jacob Weitering, 24. Mark Whiley, 30. Charlie Curnow, 32. Nick Graham, 33. Andrejs Everitt, 34. Andrew Phillips, 35. Ed Curnow, 37. Daniel Gorringe, 38. Ciaran Byrne, 39. Dale Thomas, 40. Michael Jamison, 41. Levi Casboult, 42. Zach Tuohy, 43. Simon White, 46. Matthew Wright

Notable absentees: Marc Murphy, Harry McKay, Lachie Plowman, Jack Silvagni

1. James Rose, 4. Dan Hannebery, 5. Isaac Heeney, 6. Tom Mitchell, 7. Harry Cunningham, 8. Kurt Tippett, 10. Zak Jones, 11. Jeremy Laidler, 12. Josh P. Kennedy, 13. Toby Nankervis, 14. Callum Mills, 15. Kieren Jack, 17. Jack Hiscox, 18. Callum Sinclair, 22. Dean Towers, 23. Lance Franklin, 24. Dane Rampe, 26. Luke Parker, 27. Daniel Robinson, 28. Nic Newman, 29. George Hewett, 32. Michael Talia, 33. Brandon Jack, 39. Heath Grundy, 40. Nick Smith, 41. Tom Papley, 44. Jake Lloyd

Notable absentees: Sam Reid, Ted Richards, Jarrad McVeigh, Ben McGlynn

Gold Coast v Adelaide
Friday 11 March, 7.40pm AEST at Metricon Stadium

3. Matt Rosa, 4. Jack Martin, 5. Jarrod Harbrow, 6. Alex Sexton, 7. Nick Malceski, 11. Touk Miller, 12. Sam Day, 13. Callum Ah Chee, 14. Mitch Hallahan, 15. Daniel Currie, 16. Rory Thompson, 17. Steven May, 18. Trent McKenzie, 19. Tom Lynch, 22. Tom Nicholls, 23. Sean Lemmens, 26. Matt Shaw, 27. Clay Cameron, 28. Kade Kolodjashnij, 30. Peter Wright, 31. Keegan Brooksby, 32. Brandon Matera, 33. Aaron Hall, 35. Michael Rischitelli, 39. Ryan Davis, 40. Tom Keough, 42. Adam Saad

Notable absentees: Gary Ablett, Jaeger O'Meara, David Swallow, Dion Prestia

4. Josh Jenkins, 5. Scott Thompson, 6. Jake Lever, 7. Nathan van Berlo, 9. Rory Sloane, 11. Paul Seedsman, 12. Daniel Talia, 13. Taylor Walker, 14. David Mackay, 15. Kyle Hartigan, 16. Luke Brown, 18. Eddie Betts, 24. Sam Jacobs, 25. Kyle Cheney,  26. Richard Douglas, 27. Tom Lynch, 28. Cam Ellis-Yolmen, 29. Rory Laird, 30. Wayne Milera, 31. Jarryd Lyons, 33. Brodie Smith, 36. Dean Gore, 41. Mitch McGovern, 43. Reilly O’Brien, 44. Matt Crouch

Notable absentees: Curtly Hampton, Charlie Cameron, Troy Menzel, Andy Otten