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TEAMS: Star Hawk a shock out, Giant blow

Why Hawks and Magpies lose Wayne Carey and Campbell Brown break down both of the upcoming semi-finals
Jaeger O'Meara has been ruled out of Friday night's semi-final - AFL,Melbourne Demons,Hawthorn Hawks,Collingwood Magpies,GWS Giants
Jaeger O'Meara has been ruled out of Friday night's semi-final

HAWTHORN has suffered a blow ahead of its cut-throat semi-final against Melbourne at the MCG on Friday night, with gun midfielder Jaeger O'Meara a shock out because of a knee injury.

O'Meara is one of three Hawk outs, along with star defender Ben Stratton (hamstring) and omitted ruckman Jon Ceglar, while Taylor Duryea, David Mirra and Ryan Schoenmakers return.

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The 24-year-old sustained a knock to his left knee in Hawthorn's 31-point qualifying final defeat to Richmond and experienced soreness this week that ruled him out of contention.

O'Meara was limited at training on Thursday morning and his absence means Tom Mitchell, Isaac Smith and Liam Shiels will carry an even heavier on-ball load.

"We gave him every opportunity to get himself right for the semi-final, but he just hasn't pulled up in time," Hawks football boss Graham Wright said.

"He's an important player so it's certainly disappointing, but we're lucky to have a number of guys knocking down the door at Box Hill."

The Demons, on the other hand, are unchanged from the side that ended Geelong's finals ambitions last week.

Meanwhile, retiring veteran Bernie Vince will return from a shoulder injury in the VFL this week, keeping alive his hopes of earning a senior recall if the Dees progress.

MATCH PREVIEW Hawks v Demons

Greater Western Sydney midfielder Josh Kelly also lost his race against time to be fit to play in Saturday night's semi-final against Collingwood, also at the MCG.

The star Giant aggravated a lateral meniscus issue in his right knee in last week's 49-point victory over Sydney.

Kelly was not been selected for GWS's knockout final despite club officials publicly holding out hope of a miracle recovery as recently as Tuesday.

Teenage defender Harry Perryman also lost his spot for the Magpie showdown, with veteran ex-Bulldog Ryan Griffen and Collingwood discard Lachie Keeffe the two inclusions.

MATCH PREVIEW Magpies v Giants

The Pies are unchanged, resisting the temptation to rush back swingman Darcy Moore from his latest hamstring setback.

Keeffe will go head to head with former housemate Josh Thomas for the first time since they received two-year bans in August 2015 for testing positive to banned substance clenbuterol.

The versatile 204cm big man has typically been used down back for the Giants, but can also offer Rory Lobb ruck support.

Friday, September 14

Hawthorn v Melbourne at the MCG, 7.50pm AEST


In: T.Duryea, D.Mirra, R.Schoenmakers
Out: B.Stratton (hamstring), J.O'Meara (knee), J.Ceglar 



Saturday, September 15

Collingwood v Greater Western Sydney at the MCG, 7.25pm AEST




In: R.Griffen, L.Keeffe
Out: H.Perryman, J.Kelly (knee)