- Fyfe and Ballantyne among 14 ins for Dockers
- Dogs call on experienced ruckman to face Crows
- Hawks name Isaac Smith, but doubts remain
FREMANTLE'S fight for a home preliminary final has been strengthened by the return of Nat Fyfe and Hayden Ballantyne for Saturday's qualifying final against the Sydney Swans.
And, Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge has reconsidered his ruck structure, with the ominous form of Sam Jacobs influencing the surprise recall of big man Will Minson for Saturday night's elimination final against Adelaide.
Fyfe and Ballantyne are two of 14 inclusions for the Dockers, with Fyfe back on schedule from an inflammation reaction in his thigh and Ballantyne for his first game since round 16.
As expected, Matthew Pavlich, Luke McPharlin, Aaron Sandilands, Michael Johnson, David Mundy, Lee Spurr, Zac Dawson, Danyle Pearce, Stephen Hill, Chris Mayne, Michael Walters and Cam Sutcliffe have been named to return.
The unlucky omissions are Paul Duffield, Clancee Pearce, Tendai Mzungu, Jack Hannath, Max Duffy, Jacob Ballard, Tanner Smith, Ed Langdon, Alex Pearce, Connor Blakely, Lachie Weller and Brady Grey, as the stars are recalled.
Hayden Crozier and rookie Ethan Hughes are both out with a calf injury.
The Swans will have to win at Domain Stadium without key forward Lance Franklin, who is battling mental health issues, and Kieren Jack, who has joined Luke Parker on the sidelines with a knee injury.
However, they have regained co-captain Jarrad McVeigh from a one-week calf complaint and midfielder Ben McGlynn is also back for his first AFL since round 18, after two games in the NEAFL following a hamstring issue.
Meanwhile, with Jordan Roughead out of Saturday night's MCG clash between the Dogs and Crows with a finger injury, Beveridge has called Minson up from the VFL for his first AFL game since round 15.
Often this season, the Dogs have relied on flooding stoppages rather than play a genuine ruckman, but with Jacobs monstering the Cats last week, Minson has been given the nod over Tom Campbell and Tom Boyd.
As expected, veteran trio Rob Murphy, Matthew Boyd and Dale Morris have been named after missing round 23, while Lin Jong has earned a reprieve after a strong VFL performance on the weekend.
Jason Johannisen is out with a calf while Lukas Webb, Zaine Cordy and Brett Goodes have made way for the returning experienced heads.
The Crows have named Brodie Smith, despite the defender starting the week in a moon boot after rolling his ankle against the Cats.
David Mackay and Kyle Cheney have won call-ups with Jarryd Lyons and Jake Lever omitted.
West Coast's backline will be strengthened by the return of Will Schofield, who is back after missing three games with a hamstring, for Friday night's qualifying final against Hawthorn at Domain Stadium.
The Eagles have also recalled Scott Selwood after 24 touches and two goals in the WAFL on the weekend.
But, they've lost Chris Masten to a hamstring with the six-day break ruling him out and have omitted Jackson Nelson.
The Hawks have named Isaac Smith, despite the midfielder failing to train in Perth on Thursday after he suffered a knee injury last week.
Captain Luke Hodge, Cyril Rioli and Luke Breust are handy inclusions for the defending premiers, with Angus Litherland, James Sicily and Daniel Howe making way.
Second-year midfielder Billy Hartung has travelled with the team and trained on Thursday at Domain Stadium, and looms as the logical replacement for Smith if he's a late out on Friday.
Richmond coach Damien Hardwick has named Reece Conca, Ben Griffiths and Steve Morris in the Tigers' 25-man squad for Sunday's elimination final against North Melbourne at the MCG.
Conca hasn't played since round 19 and has been limited to just two AFL games this season because of hamstring problems, while Griffiths has played one game since round 14 and has most recently been mending a finger injury.
As expected, the Kangaroos have welcomed back a host of stars including Nick Dal Santo, Jarrad Waite, Michael Firrito, Andrew Swallow, Shaun Higgins, Lindsay Thomas, Todd Goldstein, Sam Wright, Ben Cunnington and Scott Thompson.
The omissions at this stage are Joel Tippett, Majak Daw, Aaron Black, Brad McKenzie, Mason Wood and Trent Dumont, with Kayne Turner to miss after last Friday night's nasty concussion.
Experienced midfielder Daniel Wells has not been named.
The Tigers and Kangaroos will name their trimmed squads on Friday evening.
Alls the ins and outs for the first week of the finals
Friday, September 11
West Coast v Hawthorn at Domain Stadium, 6.20pm AWST
In: W.Schofield, S.Selwood
Out: C.Masten (hamstring), J.Nelson
In: L.Hodge, C.Rioli, L.Breust
Out: A.Litherland, J.Sicily, D.Howe
Saturday, September 12
Fremantle v Sydney Swans at Domain Stadium, 1.20pm AWST
In: M.Pavlich, L.McPharlin, A.Sandilands, M.Johnson, D.Mundy, L.Spurr, Z.Dawson, D.Pearce, H.Ballantyne, S.Hill, C.Mayne, M.Walters, C.Sutcliffe, N.Fyfe
Out: P.Duffield, C.Pearce, T.Mzungu, J.Hannath, M.Duffy, H.Crozier (calf), J.Ballard, T.Smith, E.Langdon, A.Pearce, C.Blakely, L.Weller, B.Grey, E.Hughes (calf)
In: B.McGlynn, J.McVeigh
Out: K.Jack (knee), L.Franklin (illness)
Western Bulldogs v Adelaide at the MCG, 7.20pm AEST
In: R.Murphy, M.Boyd, W.Minson, D.Morris, L.Jong
Out: B.Goodes, J.Roughead (foot), J.Johannisen (calf), L.Webb, Z.Cordy
In: D.Mackay, K.Cheney
Out: J.Lyons, J.Lever
Sunday, September 13
Richmond v North Melbourne at the MCG, 3.20pm AEST
In: S.Morris, B.Griffiths, R.Conca
In: N.Dal Santo, J.Waite, M.Firrito, A.Swallow, S.Higgins, L.Thomas, T.Goldstein, S.Wright, B.Cunnington, S.Thompson
Out: J.Tippett, M.Daw, A.Black, B.McKenzie, M.Wood, T.Dumont, K.Turner (concussion)