NORTH Melbourne has brought in Jared Polec from the cold to face his old side Port Adelaide at Metricon Stadium on Saturday night.
Polec's played just twice since round eight – a span of six matches and seven rounds – with the Kangaroos twice dropping him as they sought a more team-oriented approach from him.
The high-profile winger joins captain Jack Ziebell (hamstring) and debutant Flynn Perez as the three inclusions to Rhyce Shaw's side after Sunday night's 63-point flogging from Gold Coast.
Polec's situation has stirred debate about his present and future, including the fact he played for Collingwood in a scratch match last week, as one of six available players outside the senior side.
"Obviously, there's been a bit of noise around Jared," Shaw said.
"He played really well last week in the scratch match and deserves his spot in the side and I'm really happy to have him back. He's a real asset for us and someone who can really help us this week.
"We've been having some really open and honest conversations and … Jared's really clear on where he sat with me and where he needed to get to."
Shaw refuted any suggestion he demeaned Polec, as a high-priced recruit two years ago, by having him play for the Magpies' reserves team, saying that was the only option if he wasn't in the AFL team.
After being "at a loss" to explain North's insipid display against the Suns, he expects his players to grab their chance in the final three rounds, especially the 21 who remain without a 2021 deal.
ROUNDS 15-18 Check out the full fixture
"We were disappointed last week, but the opportunity is there for us this week," Shaw said.
"That's what gets me up in the morning and what hopefully gives the guys motivation to have a real red-hot crack, which I know they will."
Taylor Garner (hamstring) and Jasper Pittard (calf) will return in a scratch game on Saturday morning.