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TEAMS: Geelong midfield takes a hit with late out

LAUNCESTON, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 17: Cameron Guthrie of the Cats in action during the AFL 2017 JLT Community Series match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Geelong Cats at the University of Tasmania Stadium on February 17, 2017 in Launceston, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media)
Cam Guthrie will miss the Cats' opening round clash

GEELONG'S midfield has taken a hit ahead of Sunday's season-opener with Cam Guthrie ruled out of the clash against Fremantle.

Guthrie was named in the Cats' 25-man squad after appearing to prove he had overcome a calf complaint in a VFL practice match last week.

But the valuable onballer has lost his fitness battle.

Sam Menegola and Jackson Thurlow have also missed out on the final team to face Freo, while Darcy Lang, who replaced Guthrie in the 25-man squad, is the Cats' other emergency. 

Former Blues backman Zach Tuohy will make his Geelong debut alongside draftees Tom Stewart and Brandan Parfitt. 

Dockers midfielder Nick Suban has pipped Tommy Sheridan and Hayden Crozier to replace small forward Hayden Ballantyne (hamstring). 

Sheridan, Crozier and tall forward Matt Taberner are Freo's emergencies. 

The Dockers will unveil their four mature-aged recruits – Bradley Hill, Joel Hamling, Cam McCarthy and Shane Kersten - while new skipper Nat Fyfe and Michael Johnson are back from long-term injuries. 

Adelaide captain Taylor Walker (hamstring) and star midfielder Rory Sloane (fractured eye socket) have been named for the huge clash against Greater Western Sydney at Adelaide Oval. 

However, doubts will linger over the duo until final teams are announced on Sunday.

Curtly Hampton will make his Crows debut against his former club, while ex-Blues forward Troy Menzel will also play his first game. 

Andy Otten will play his first home-and-away game in 960 days after a knee reconstruction at the end of 2014. 

Myles Poholke, Riley Knight and Reilly O'Brien are the Crows' emergencies.

GWS has confirmed ex-Dockers midfielder Tendai Mzungu for his club debut alongside draftee Tim Taranto.

Nathan Wilson, Dawson Simpson and Sam Reid are the Giant's emergencies. 

West Coast has chopped young guns Tom Barrass and Dom Sheed from its final team to face North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium in Sunday's early game.

Barrass couldn't force his way into the line-up despite a starring performance for East Perth last Saturday night, with running backman Will Schofield travelling to Melbourne as the emergency. 

Sheed has been left out after battling a corked calf at training earlier this week and will play for the Royals this weekend. 

Jack Redden has forced his way into the side after two strong performances for East Perth. 

Ryan Clarke, Sam Durdin and Ed Vickers-Willis have been left out of North Melbourne's final team, with key forward Ben Brown cleared to play after a knee complaint. 

The Roos will picked four first-gamers and two club debutants – Nathan Hrovat and Marley Williams - in round one.

North Melbourne v West Coast, MCG, 1.10pm AEDT


New: Mitchell Hibberd (Clarence), Braydon Preuss (Townsville), Jy Simpkin (Murray U18), Declan Mountford (Claremont), Marley Williams (Collingwood), Nathan Hrovat (Western Bulldogs)


New: Sam Mitchell (Hawthorn), Drew Petrie (North Melbourne), Nathan Vardy (Geelong)

Adelaide v Greater Western Sydney, AO, 2.50pm ACDT


New: Curtly Hampton (GWS), Troy Menzel (Carlton)

Greater Western Sydney

New: Tim Taranto (Sandringham Dragons U18), Tendai Mzungu (Fremantle)

Fremantle v Geelong, DS, 4.40pm AWST


New: Bradley Hill (Hawthorn), Shane Kersten (Geelong), Joel Hamling (Western Bulldogs), Cam McCarthy (GWS)


New: Zach Tuohy (Carlton), Brandon Parfitt (North Adelaide), Tom Stewart (Geelong VFL)