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TEAMS: Pies recall ruckman, Dees name forgotten forward

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 16: Mason Cox of the Magpies and Matthew Leuenberger of the Bombers compete in a ruck contest during the AFL 2017 JLT Community Series match between the Collingwood Magpies and the Essendon Bombers at Etihad Stadium on February 16, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media)
Mason Cox is back for the Magpies to face Essendon

COLLINGWOOD has recalled big man Mason Cox and, as expected, picked ex-Kangaroo Daniel Wells for the first time for its must-win Anzac Day blockbuster against Essendon on Tuesday. 

The 1-3 Magpies swung the axe, dropping key forward Jesse White, premiership little man Jarryd Blair and runner Josh Smith. 

The Pies also brought back impressive second-year midfielder Tom Phillips, who was a late withdrawal with illness from last week's clash with St Kilda.

Check out the full round five teams

Meanwhile, Richmond star Dustin Martin has been named in the Tigers' side to take on Melbourne on Monday night despite battling groin soreness.

The undefeated Tigers have made just one change, replacing Nick Vlastuin (concussion) with athletic utility Oleg Markov for his first game of the season.

The Demons have brought in four players – spearhead Jesse Hogan who has served a two-match suspension, ex-Bomber Michael Hibberd for his first game for the club after overcoming an Achilles injury, small forward Jay Kennedy-Harris who is back after suffering a broken arm, and rookie-listed tall Tim Smith.

Melbourne omitted young forward Sam Weideman, Tom Bugg, Mitch Hannan and Dean Kent. 

Essendon has promoted the exciting Aaron Francis and first-gamer Ben McNiece for their clash with Collingwood, while dropping Kyle Langford. Irishman Conor McKenna is suspended.

Cox, the 'American Pie', returns to the scene of his eye-catching AFL debut where he showed no signs of stage-fright, slotting the first goal of last year's Anzac Day clash with his first kick after just two minutes.

The Pies will hope the 26-year-old will help take some pressure off battling youngster Darcy Moore and provide Brodie Grundy with some ruck relief.

Wells' long-awaited debut in the black and white comes after a tumultuous period for the big-money former North Melbourne veteran, who arrived unfit for his first pre-season and soon sustained a calf injury that lingered until recent weeks.

The 32-year-old proved he was over the problem with an impressive display at VFL level last week and he has continued to train strongly. 

The Pies don't expect Wells to dominate immediately but they believe his inclusion will go some way towards improving their ball use by foot, particularly into the forward arc.

Monday April 24

Richmond v Melbourne at the MCG, 7.25pm AEST

RICHMOND
In:
O.Markov
Out:
N.Vlastuin (concussion)

MELBOURNE
In:
M.Hibberd, T.Smith, J.Hogan, J.Kennedy-Harris
Out:
T.Bugg, D.Kent, S.Weideman, M.Hannan (omitted)

Tuesday April 25

Essendon v Collingwood at the MCG, 3.20pm AEST

ESSENDON
In:
B.McNiece, A.Francis
Out:
C.McKenna (suspended), K.Langford (omitted)
New: Ben McNiece (Essendon VFL)

COLLINGWOOD
In:
D.Wells, T.Phillips, M.Cox
Out:
J.White, J.Blair, J.Smith (omitted)