Taylor Adams, Lachie Neale and Jacob Weitering. Pictures: AFL Photos

WHO IS a chance to play in round three?

In this week's In the Mix we find the players who are giving their selectors plenty of food for thought.

Who's going out, who's sore, who is under the pump? Our reporters attempt to pick all the R3 ins and outs. Check it out.

After an 0-2 start to the season, the Crows may well decide that Friday night's clash against an undefeated Fremantle is one that requires change. Wingman Lachlan Sholl hit round one in form but was dropped last week. If the Crows need more run, he is an option after using the ball well in a SANFL trial game. Playing Jake Soligo around the ball more as part of some midfield changes could be considered after a lot of his disposals against Geelong were won in the defensive half and outside the contest, opening a spot for an outside runner. Selecting prized draftee Daniel Curtin for a hometown debut or playing defender/wingman Luke Nankervis are other options. – Nathan Schmook

R2 sub: Ned McHenry (replaced Sam Berry)

Daniel Curtin during the AFL Draft at Marvel Stadium on November 20, 2023. Picture: Getty Images

There's some big decisions to make for Chris Fagan ahead of Thursday night's Grand Final rematch against Collingwood at the Gabba. An easy one is recalling Lachie Neale (hamstring) to the midfield after he missed the round one loss to Fremantle. Conor McKenna's hamstring injury could open a spot, with Jaxon Prior and untried Shadeau Brain impressing in the VFL at the weekend. If the match committee opts to send Dayne Zorko back to be a creative defender, Jimmy Tunstill is ready to step into a utility role following his impressive 33 disposals in the VFL. – Michael Whiting

R1 sub: Kai Lohmann (replaced Darcy Gardiner)

Lachie Neale in action during Brisbane's clash against Carlton in Opening Round, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

The Blues will regain reigning best and fairest Jacob Weitering (calf) to help stabilise their backline for Good Friday's clash with North Melbourne. Fellow defender Caleb Marchbank (illness) should also make his comeback, but that could be via the VFL. Elijah Hollands is now back from his AFL-imposed suspension, but the club is still assessing whether he plays seniors or reserves. Match fitness will be an issue, given he wouldn't have played in 30 days due to the VFL side having the bye last weekend. Jesse Motlop (toe) is also available and should come straight back into the team, but Jack Martin (hamstring) has suffered a setback. – Riley Beveridge

R1 sub: Corey Durdin (replaced Orazio Fantasia)

Jacob Weitering at Carlton training on September 18, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

John Noble returned to Craig McRae's 23 in Opening Round as the sub but hasn't featured since. That could change after the defender impressed in the VFL last Friday night, collecting 29 disposals off half-back. Harvey Harrison will also be in the hunt after a strong pre-season. Joe Richards is building a case for a debut after kicking three goals in a classy performance at RSEA Park. SSP signings Lachie Sullivan (30 touches and six clearances) and Jack Bytel (26 disposals and eight marks) were both busy. Former first-round pick Ed Allan is still chasing a debut but made a good start to the VFL season with 25 disposals and eight tackles. Charlie Dean went back to the twos after playing the first fortnight in the AFL side and finished with 18 touches and five marks at Moorabbin. - Josh Gabelich

R2 sub: Fin Macrae (replaced Oleg Markov)


The Bombers again have some big selection decisions to make ahead of facing St Kilda. Defender Mason Redman will return from suspension, while Peter Wright will make way after his ban. Gun midfielder Darcy Parish could make his return from a hamstring injury and Jake Kelly may also be back after being a late withdrawal last week due to illness. Essendon also has fresh injury concerns over Andrew McGrath (ankle) and Will Setterfield (knee), but both are expected to be available to face the Saints. Nick Hind (10 disposals) could make way for Redman or Kelly, while Ben Hobbs (16 and three clearances against Sydney) and Elijah Tsatas (14) are on the fringes should Parish return. Wright's ban also poses another selection question, with No.10 draft pick Nate Caddy an option to debut. Caddy had nine disposals and kicked two goals from limited opportunities in the VFL, with the Bombers only generating 31 inside 50s. Harrison Jones, dropped after the round one win over Hawthorn, is another option. – Dejan Kalinic

R2 sub: Alwyn Davey jnr (replaced Sam Draper)


The Dockers have no fresh injury issues out of round two and have momentum at 2-0, meaning the team should be unchanged against Adelaide on Friday night. There was brief concern around Nat Fyfe, who was substituted against North Melbourne and mentioned some back soreness, but the Dockers have declared he will be ready to go on Friday night. Should anything change with availability, starting substitute Jaeger O'Meara or midfielders Neil Erasmus and Will Brodie are likely options on standby. Draftee Cooper Simpson is also on the edge of selection and would be a damaging substitute option with his pace and kicking. – Nathan Schmook

R2 sub: Jaeger O'Meara (replaced Nat Fyfe)

Elliot Yeo tackles Jaeger O'Meara during West Coast's match simulation against Fremantle on February 24, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

With Patrick Dangerfield (hamstring) to miss a fortnight, there will be change in the Cats' midfield. Tom Atkins is a lock to return from an adductor injury, while Tanner Bruhn should play if he passes a fitness test on his sore foot. Mitch Duncan, a game-day withdrawal against Adelaide after his wife went into labour, will also come back in. Jack Bowes is fit again after recovering from a badly corked calf but could build match fitness in the VFL after sitting out the first two games. Brandan Parfitt made the most of his opportunity against the Crows and would be unlucky to miss out, leaving sub Mitch Knevitt and Irishman Oisin Mullin the most likely to make way. In the VFL, ruckman Toby Conway shone in the Cats' heavy loss to Werribee with 17 touches, 37 hitouts and six clearances, while 2023 mid-season rookie pick Mitch Hardie had 29 touches and seven clearances in a prolific display. - Michael Rogers

R2 sub: Mitch Knevitt (replaced Patrick Dangerfield)

Mitch Duncan kicks the ball during Geelong's clash against St Kilda in round one, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

After a winless first fortnight, Sam Mitchell could turn to some options at Box Hill ahead of Easter Monday. Lloyd Meek was the best player in the round one win over Casey. Henry Hustwaite was stiff to be overlooked in round one and could come in after collecting 24 disposals, nine tackles and eight clearances in the VFL. SSP signing Ethan Phillips is in the hunt for a debut after impressing with 21 disposals and 15 marks behind the ball. Jai Serong was just as good and is another defensive option for the Hawks. Harry Morrison finished with 28 touches and 10 marks on Sunday, while Sam Butler kicked a game-high three goals from 21 disposals. - Josh Gabelich

R2 sub: Jack Gunston (replaced Luke Breust)

Henry Hustwaite in action during match sim between the Western Bulldogs and Hawthorn at Whitten Oval on February 23, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

The Dees will be sweating on a fitness test for key back Jake Lever later in the week. Lever was cleared of serious damage to his right knee but is experiencing soreness in the kneecap and is a watch-and-see for Saturday night's game against Port Adelaide. Fellow backman Steven May will miss at least one week with broken ribs, opening the door for a recall for Adam Tomlinson who starred for Casey on the weekend with an equal game-high 25 disposals and six marks. If Lever misses, Harrison Petty could be swung back to fill a key defensive spot. Defender Marty Hore started as the sub on the weekend but might earn a spot in the starting 22 this week. Midfielders Bailey Laurie (25 touches, one goal) and Taj Woewodin (21, seven marks) and first-year player Koltyn Tholstrup (21, seven tackles) impressed at the lower level, although the Dees are unlikely to make any unforced changes. - Alison O'Connor

R2 sub: Marty Hore (replaced Steven May)


The Kangaroos will ponder handing an AFL debut to pre-season recruit Tyler Sellers, who added to his six goals in a VFL intraclub a fortnight ago with six more goals from 15 disposals against the Northern Bullants in the reserves over the weekend. Will Phillips (30 disposals, six clearances) was also impressive at VFL level and could stake his claim for a midfield spot. Miller Bergman (29 disposals, seven marks) was among the best in the backline, but played through a fractured jaw and is now expected to be sidelined for at least the next month. – Riley Beveridge

R2 sub: Eddie Ford (replaced Charlie Lazzaro)


Ken Hinkley's 2-0 Port will likely get Jed McEntee back to face Melbourne on Saturday night, as the small forward is expected to exit concussion protocols on Friday. Lachie Jones is also likely to overcome the corked calf that saw him subbed out against Richmond. However, Port won't get dynamic midfielder Jason Horne-Francis back for the blockbuster contest after he was ruled out for a second straight match with a hamstring injury. – Michael Whiting

R2 sub: Dylan Williams (replaced Lachie Jones)

Jed McEntee is injured during the R1 match between Port Adelaide and West Coast at Alberton Oval on March 17, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Lots of ifs, buts and maybes around Richmond's selection, with a host of players a chance to feature. If Nathan Broad's calf is ready to go, that's a straight swap with James Trezise (ankle). Tylar Young (concussion) may also be available, with Tom Brown the possible additional omission if both Young and Broad are fit. Maurice Rioli jnr (back) was a late withdrawal, and replacement Judson Clarke may come straight back out. Tiger fans are itching to see draftee Kane McAuliffe (31 disposals and six clearances) at the top level, with Tyler Sonsie (30 and five) also impressing in the VFL. Sam Banks (five touches) struggled to have an impact against Port Adelaide in the seniors match, as did Thomson Dow (12). – Sarah Black

R2 sub: Judson Clarke (replaced Sam Banks)

Nathan Broad in action during Richmond's clash against Gold Coast in Opening Round, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Ross Lyon will be forced to make three changes ahead of Saturday with recruit Liam Henry (hamstring) and Mason Wood (collarbone) both ruled out for at least six weeks due to injuries sustained against Collingood last Thursday night. Max King will also miss after being suspended for rough conduct. Anthony Caminiti kicked two goals for Sandringham on Friday night and could be considered for the clash against Essendon after playing 18 games in his debut season. Dan Butler got through his return game in the VFL, while Lance Collard was quiet after being dropped. Arie Schoenmaker amassed plenty of the ball across half-back, finishing with a game-high 33 disposals, 29 kicks and 13 marks. - Josh Gabelich

R2 sub: Zak Jones (replaced Mason Wood)


Recruit Taylor Adams will have a fitness test on his knee this week and could make his Swans debut on Sunday, although the club might take a cautious approach given he’s only just resumed full training. Robbie Fox (calf) is also a test and could be a straight swap for Harry Cunningham (concussion), although it's hardly a like-for-like replacement. Jake Lloyd could instead shift back to defence and open up a midfield/wing spot, which would create an interesting selection call for John Longmire. If Adams is not ready, Corey Warner could come into the starting side, which might open the door for 2022 draftee Caleb Mitchell (30 disposals and a goal as captain) or even Academy product Caiden Cleary (27 touches and a goal) after both impressed in the VFL on Sunday. Talls Aaron Francis, Peter Ladhams, Joel Hamling and Sam Reid all started the season nicely in the twos and could be considered if Fox is ruled out and Longmire wants more height. - Martin Smith

R2 sub: Corey Warner (replaced Harry Cunningham)

Taylor Adams during Sydney's training session on January 19, 2024. Picture: Phil Hillyard

The main decision for the Eagles lies in the ruck and whether they continue to give 20-year-old Harry Barnett exposure or return Bailey Williams to the No.1 role. If Williams is shifted to the ruck, forward Ryan Maric could be promoted from substitute, or youngster Jack Williams could come into the team after an impressive performance in a WAFL practice game. The Eagles need more from Jack Darling, but it is unlikely he will be dropped. First-year midfielder Clay Hall is pushing for a spot and is ready for a chance, while speedy half-back Coby Burgiel is on the edge of selection. – Nathan Schmook

R2 sub: Ryan Maric (replaced Harry Barnett)

Ryan Maric during a West Coast intraclub match at Mineral Resources Park on February 17, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Jack Macrae has been on the outer to start 2024 but the three-time All-Australian couldn't have done much more to earn a recall, amassing 46 disposals and 16 clearances in the VFL. With Ed Richards and Nick Coffield coming out, Taylor Duryea put his hand up for a spot down back. Rory Lobb responded to being dropped with four goals. James O'Donnell is set to be available after an interrupted end to the pre-season. Riley Garcia starred at the Whitten Oval, collecting 41 touches, eight tackles and two goals. Alex Keath is another option down back after playing in the VFL. - Josh Gabelich

R2 sub: Oskar Baker (replaced Nick Coffield)