MELBOURNE has named Steven May for Saturday's season opener against Fremantle, with the star defender set to complete his mandatory concussion rest in time to face the Dockers at the MCG.
He will encounter a Fremantle forward line bereft of talls, with the Dockers choosing not to name ruckman Sean Darcy and leaving Lloyd Meek to make his debut against Max Gawn without recognised ruck support.
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Young Demon Kysaiah Pickett has been named after returning from personal leave and impressing in a VFL practice match, while ball-winner Angus Brayshaw has recovered in time to launch his season against the Dockers and brother Andrew.
Fremantle has named Darcy as an emergency after almost two months sidelined with a knee injury, while key defender Alex Pearce has been named in the backline but appears likely to swing forward.
Key forward Matt Taberner has been named after experiencing back spasms at training this week and will need to carry a small forward line in Rory Lobb's absence.
Meek will make his debut after three seasons on the list against the combination of Gawn and Luke Jackson. Midfielder Connor Blakely has been named after spending 2020 out of favour.
Third-year Demons rookie James Jordon has been named to make his debut.
Prized Dockers draftee Heath Chapman and rookie Leno Thomas are among nine potential debutants named as emergencies for Saturday's AFL matches, setting the scene for players to open their careers as medical substitutes.
There have been 13 debutants named across the four matches on Saturday and a further nine players set to play for a new club for the first time.
Hawthorn draftee Connor Downie has also been named as an emergency for Saturday night's clash against Essendon after previous indications from the Hawks that he would make his debut.
The Bombers have named top 10 draft selection Archie Perkins as an emergency as they prepare to unveil a number of new faces, with Nik Cox and Harrison Jones named to play their first games.
Former St Kilda forward Nick Hind will debut for the Bombers as a defender, while ex-GWS midfielder Jye Caldwell and former Gold Coast tall Peter Wright will be unveiled.
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Former Collingwood wingman Tom Phillips will play his first game for the Hawks after a standout pre-season, with Jacob Koschitzke and Tyler Brockman to debut in Ben McEvoy's first game as captain.
Adelaide has named forward James Rowe and midfielder Sam Berry to debut against Geelong at Adelaide Oval on Saturday.
The Crows have overlooked young forward Darcy Fogarty, while former Brisbane defender Mitchell Hinge is named as an emergency.
The Cats will unveil experienced recruits Shaun Higgins and Isaac Smith in the clash, while second-year forward Francis Evans has been named as an emergency but is yet to debut.
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Sydney has named Braeden Campbell, Logan McDonald and Errol Gulden to debut against Brisbane at the Gabba on Saturday as previously indicated, while ex-West Coast ruckman Tom Hickey will play his first game for the club.
Forrmer Essendon star Joe Daniher will play his first game for the Lions, with Harry Sharp named for his debut. Ely Smith is yet to play and has been named as an emergency.
Brisbane run machine and draft bolter Harry Sharp has also been named for his AFL debut.
Saturday, March 20
Melbourne v Fremantle at the MCG, 1.45pm AEDT
Adelaide v Geelong at Adelaide Oval, 4.05pm ACDT
Essendon v Hawthorn at Marvel Stadium, 7.25pm AEDT
Brisbane v Sydney at the Gabba, 6.45pm AEST