GEELONG recruit Shaun Higgins will make an immediate return for Friday night's Grand Final rematch after recovering from a fractured thumb and hamstring injury. 

The Cats have made three changes for the anticipated clash at the MCG, with Sam Simpson called on for his first senior game this season and last week's substitute Zach Guthrie elevated into the 22. 

Speedster Jordan Clark has been omitted for the second time this season, although he remains a chance to be the sub like he was in rounds five and six. Quinton Narkle, who returned to the team in round seven, has also been dropped.  

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Grian Myers will miss with a hairline fracture to his fibula, ending his consecutive games streak at 53, having played every game since his debut in round one, 2019.  

Narkle and Clark are both among the emergencies, alongside wingman Max Holmes and ruckman Esava Ratugolea

Higgins, who crossed from North Melbourne ahead of the 2021 season, has not played since round three but will bypass a return via the VFL. 

02:01 Mins
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Match Previews R8: Richmond v Geelong

Sportsbet's Nathan Brown and Matthew Richardson preview the game between the Tigers and Cats at the MCG

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Richmond made two changes as expected, with superstar Dustin Martin returning from concussion and a short trip to New Zealand to visit his father. 

Triple premiership defender Nick Vlastuin also makes a timely return from a knee injury and will be a straight swap in defence for important backman Dylan Grimes (concussion). 

Captain Trent Cotchin will miss with a hamstring injury, while last week's substitute, Patrick Naish, has again been selected as an emergency. 

Callum Coleman-Jones, Will Martyn and Hugo Ralphsmith are the other emergencies in contention for the medical substitute role in the blockbuster clash.

Richmond v Geelong at the MCG, 7.50pm AEST

In: N.Vlastuin, D.Martin
Out: D.Grimes (concussion), T.Cotchin (hamstring), P.Naish (omitted)

Last week's sub: P.Naish (replaced T.Cotchin)

In: S.Higgins, S.Simpson, Z.Guthrie
Out: J.Clark (omitted), G.Miers (fractured leg), Q.Narkle (omitted)

Last week's sub: Z.Guthrie (replaced G.Miers)