COLLINGWOOD has wielded the axe ahead of Saturday's crunch clash with Melbourne at the Gabba, dropping three players, including former NAB AFL Rising Star winner Jaidyn Stephenson. 

North Melbourne has also had enough of its poor form, dropping four players for its match against Brisbane earlier that afternoon. 

The omissions of Stephenson, Chris Mayne and Tim Broomhead are among five Magpie changes, with Brayden Sier and Jordan Roughead both out injured. 

Stephenson has kicked just three goals in his past six matches, including two from four disposals in Collingwood's win over Adelaide earlier in the week. 

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Skipper Scott Pendlebury heads a host of big-name inclusions that also sees Darcy Moore, Jamie Elliott, Will Hoskin-Elliott and Ben Reid all return. 

Melbourne has recalled Jack Viney among three changes to play the Magpies. 

01:12 Mins
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Match Previews R12: Melbourne v Collingwood

Sportsbet's Nathan Brown and Matthew Richardson preview the game between the Demons and Magpies at the Gabba

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The Kangaroos have made six changes in total, with Jared Polec being dropped for the second time in a month. 

Jasper Pittard, Aaron Hall and Majak Daw have all been omitted, with Marley Williams and Mason Wood among the inclusions. 

Brisbane has recalled rugged midfielder Rhys Mathieson for his first game of the season, with Ryan Lester also coming back in after suffering a recent hamstring injury. 

01:09 Mins
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Match Previews R12: North v Brisbane

Sportsbet's Nathan Brown and Matthew Richardson preview the game between the Kangaroos and Lions at Metricon Stadium

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The final game of Saturday sees Fremantle hosting Carlton, with just three changes between the teams. 

01:18 Mins
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Match Previews R12: Fremantle v Carlton

Sportsbet's Nathan Brown and Matthew Richardson preview the game between the Dockers and Blues at Optus Stadium

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Michael Walters is back from a hamstring injury for the Dockers, while the Blues will unveil debutant Josh Honey, but have lost ruckman Marc Pittonet to a finger injury.

Saturday, August 15

North Melbourne v Brisbane, Metricon Stadium, 2.35pm AEST

NORTH MELBOURNE
In: E.Vickers-Willis, T.Murphy, W.Walker, M.Williams, M.Wood, L.Hosie
Out: J.Polec (omitted), J.Pittard (omitted), M.Daw (omitted), A.Hall (omitted), A.Bonar (AC joint), J.Macmillan (managed)

BRISBANE
In: R.Lester, R.Mathieson
Out: D.Rich (suspension), C.Ellis-Yolmen (omitted)

Melbourne v Collingwood, Gabba, 5.10pm AEST

MELBOURNE
In: J.Lockhart, B.Preuss, J.Viney
Out: M.Hannan (omitted), L.Jackson (hamstring), T.Rivers (omitted)

COLLINGWOOD
In: D.Moore, B.Reid, W.Hoskin-Elliott, J.Elliott, S.Pendlebury
Out: J.Stephenson (omitted), C.Mayne (omitted), T.Broomhead (omitted), B.Sier (quad), J.Roughead (concussion)

Fremantle v Carlton, Optus Stadium, 6.10pm AWST

FREMANTLE
In: M.Walters
Out: T.Colyer (hamstring)

CARLTON
In: J.Honey, H.McKay
Out: J.Martin (calf), M.Pittonet (finger)
New: Josh Honey