HAWTHORN has been weakened ahead of its clash against Essendon on Saturday by the late withdrawal of star forward Cyril Rioli.

When the Hawks submitted their final team 90 minutes ahead of Saturday's 1.40pm first bounce, Rioli was replaced in the 22 by Will Langford.

Hawthorn football manager Chris Fagan said Rioli was in Darwin to attend a family funeral. 

Essendon did not make any late changes to its selected team. 

Matt Suckling will start as the Hawks' substitute, while Elliott Kavanagh will wear the green vest for the Bombers.

Hawthorn: Taylor Duryea, Billy Hartung, Will Langford
Substitute: Matt Suckling
Essendon: Nick O'Brien, Adam Cooney, Martin Gleeson
Substitute: Elliott Kavanagh