GEELONG defender Jake Kolodjashnij’s long wait to make his AFL debut is over, with the 19-year-old picked for Sunday’s clash against Melbourne at Simonds Stadium.
Kolodjashnij, the twin brother of Gold Coast's Kade, has been one of the club's most consistent performers in the VFL this season but has been unable to crack into the senior team because of the strength of the club's experienced backline.
However, Kolodjashnij – pick No.41 in the 2013 NAB AFL Draft – gets his chance because of the foot injury to Rhys Stanley.
Michael Luxford, who played his first game against Essendon in round 10 before being left out of the side for the Cats' 23-point win over Port Adelaide last week, has been recalled to replace the injured James Kelly (ankle).
Melbourne will be lacking the firepower of emerging forward Jesse Hogan, who was withdrawn from the side on Friday afternoon because of hamstring tightness.
However, experienced forward Chris Dawes returns from a three-game stint on the sidelines due to a lingering calf injury.
Matt Jones and Rohan Bail have also been brought back into the team after collecting 35 and 34 disposals in the VFL respectively, while Jake Spencer comes into the side to aid Max Gawn in the ruck.
Cameron Pedersen (broken wrist) is out for the season, while Jack Grimes will miss up to two months with a thumb injury.
Midfielder Viv Michie has been omitted.