Clayton Oliver, Lewis Melican and Josh Schache. Pictures: AFL Photos

MELBOURNE has named Charlie Spargo for its Opening Round game against Sydney on Thursday night, while Josh Schache has been selected ahead of Tom McDonald for the match at the SCG.

As flagged earlier this week, the Dees have welcomed back star midfielder Clayton Oliver to face the Swans while Jack Billings, Caleb Windsor and Blake Howes will all play their first game for the club.

Spargo has been named despite not playing any pre-season games due to an Achilles issue, while Schache and Jacob van Rooyen will lead a forward line that is without the injured Harrison Petty. McDonald has been named as an emergency.


Despite Melbourne's undersized forward line, the Swans have named Lewis Melican in defence alongside Tom McCartin and skipper Dane Rampe, while young midfielder Angus Sheldrick has missed out.

Former Dees Brodie Grundy and James Jordon will make their Swans debuts against their former club, while Tom Papley, Chad Warner and Jake Lloyd will also play having missed last week's AAMI Community Series match against Brisbane.

Oliver will lead a strong Demons midfield group alongside Christian Petracca and Jack Viney against a Swans side that is missing Callum Mills, Luke Parker and Taylor Adams, who are all injured.



Sydney v Melbourne at the SCG, 7.30pm AEDT


B: L.Melican 43 T.McCartin 30 D.Rampe - C 24
HB:: N.Blakey 22 O.Florent 13 J.Lloyd 44
C: J.McInerney 27 Ch.Warner 1 E.Gulden 21
HF: I.Heeney 5 L.McDonald 6 J.Amartey 36
F: T.Papley 11 H.McLean 2 W.Hayward 9
Foll: B.Grundy 4 J.Jordon 17 J.Rowbottom 8
I/C: B.Campbell 16 M.Roberts 34 H.Cunningham 7 S.Wicks 15 R.Fox 42  

Emerg: A.Sheldrick 12 P.Ladhams 19 Co.Warner 37

New faces: James Jordon, Brodie Grundy
Notable absentees: Callum Mills, Luke Parker, Taylor Adams


B: B.Howes 22, S.May 1, J.Lever 8
HB: J.McVee 4, A.Tomlinson 20, C.Salem 3
C: E.Langdon 15, C.Petracca 5, T.Rivers 24
HF: J.Viney 7, J.Schache 19, J.van Rooyen 2
F: A.Neal-Bullen 30, B.Fritsch 31, C.Spargo 9
Foll: M.Gawn 11, T.Sparrow 32, C.Oliver 13
I/C: C.Windsor 6, J.Billings 14, B.Laurie 16, J.Bowey 17, K.Chandler 37

Emerg: T.McDonald 25, T.Fullarton 33, T.Woewodin 40

New faces: Caleb Windsor, Jack Billings, Blake Howes
Notable absentees: Lachie Hunter, Shane McAdam, Harrison Petty, Jake Melksham, Kysaiah Pickett