HARD-RUNNING Magpie Tom Phillips will make a last-ditch bid on Thursday night to play in Saturday's knockout semi-final against Geelong at the Gabba. 

Phillips will take part in some match simulation training after being out for more than a month with a hamstring strain.

The 24-year-old's one of several potential inclusions for Nathan Buckley's side, including the Brown brothers – Callum and Tyler – and veteran Travis Varcoe.

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Collingwood isn't expected to have any forced changes.

"'Flip' has been (in) full training for about a week-and-a-half and he hasn't actually had any match simulation yet," Buckley told reporters.

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"He'll get a taste of that this evening, but he's played a lot of footy for us over the last two or three years (and) been a regular in our best 22.

"So that's a decision we're going to have to weigh up into this week and beyond, but he's moving really well physically and he'll get a taste of some match simulation to stake his claim."

Ex-Swans big man Darcy Cameron was a somewhat surprise inclusion for last week's upset victory over West Coast, helping Brodie Grundy contend with Eagles superstar Nic Naitanui.

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Buckley stopped short of guaranteeing Cameron would retain his spot, but acknowledged he played "pretty well".

The Magpies are attempting to become the first team to win the premiership from eighth spot and they've won their past two clashes with Geelong.


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Both were competitive encounters, with Jordan De Goey's three-goal last quarter holding the Cats off by 22 points in round seven, after recording a 10-point victory in last year's qualifying final.

However, Buckley played down the importance of home and away season results in this COVID-19-impacted year for the second straight week.

One thing the coach did reveal is that Jordan Roughead would again get the job on Geelong's Coleman medallist Tom Hawkins, who Port Adelaide held goalless last week, after Collingwood did the same in round seven.

Jordan Roughead is again expected to get the match-up on Tom Hawkins. Picture: AFL Photos

"We like 'Roughy' – he's a good match-up for Tom and played a pretty good game on him last time in Perth," Buckley said.

"They're both big boys; they'll be around each other for most of the night. (But) we're not going to fall for being just Tom Hawkins conscious.

"Geelong was the heaviest-scoring side in the home and away and they did so because they had multiple score sources, so we'll look to make sure we have plans for all of that."