WHO IS a chance to play in round 15?

In this week's In the Mix we find the players who are giving their selectors plenty of food for thought.

Who's going out, who's sore, who is under the pump? Our reporters attempt to pick all the R15 ins and outs. Check it out.

Fresh off a bye, it's hard to see too many changes for the Crows as they prepare to take on Carlton on Sunday. One huge in though is defender Luke Brown, who will return from missing the past couple of matches with an Achilles problem. Jackson Hately continued his strong run of SANFL form before the bye, while Lachie Sholl was relegated to the medi-sub role for the seniors and should feel refreshed after the break.
 
R13 medical sub: Lachie Sholl (unused)
 
Verdict: Brown for Josh Worrell

Lachie Sholl in action for Adelaide in round nine, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

The Lions will welcome back Dayne Zorko for Thursday night's blockbuster against Geelong after the captain served his one-match suspension. With a clean bill of health following the win over North Melbourne, it's unlikely there'll be any other changes, although young key defender Jack Payne, who returned from a long layoff through the VFL, could be a consideration to help Harris Andrews and Marcus Adams against the Cats' potent forward line.

R14 medical sub: Tom Berry (unused)

Verdict: Zorko for Rhys Mathieson – Michael Whiting

Dayne Zorko in action against Melbourne in round 12, 2021. Picture: Getty Images

The Blues should welcome back Michael Gibbons from a hamstring injury and Lachie Plowman from a knee problem for this week's clash with the Crows. However, Levi Casboult will be unavailable for selection after earning a one-game ban in the VFL for a high bump. It comes after he impressed against Port Melbourne last week, winning 22 disposals, 22 hitouts, taking 11 marks and kicking a goal. Gibbons should replace Jack Newnes, who has been a medical sub for the past two matches, while Plowman will be an automatic inclusion for Luke Parks after he exited Saturday night's game through injury. Josh Honey kicked three goals in the VFL, while Sam Petrevski-Seton pushed for a return with 25 disposals in the midfield. Eddie Betts had just six touches in the senior team and might be considered for a rest, having played 11 straight games.

R14 medical sub: Jack Newnes (replaced Luke Parks)

Verdict: Gibbons, Plowman and Honey to replace Newnes, Parks and Betts. – Riley Beveridge

Lachie Plowman leads the Carlton players off the MCG after their round 10, 2021 clash. Picture: AFL Photos

Robert Harvey will be forced into at least two changes for his first game in charge with Darcy Moore (knee) and Jordan De Goey (suspended) to miss. Nathan Murphy should be good to go after being subbed out of the Queen's Birthday win with a corked leg. Brodie Grundy (neck) is set to return in a big boost, while Taylor Adams (knee) impressed at training on Tuesday morning and is pushing to play. A decision on Moore's replacement could come down to Will Kelly, Tom Wilson or Mark Keane. Brayden Sier (jaw) is also in the frame after missing against the Demons, while medical sub Jay Rantall, Callum Brown, Finlay Macrae and Ollie Henry are around the mark. Max Lynch looms as the unlucky one to fall out for Grundy, Jack Madgen remains on the edge, while Mason Cox will be hard pressed finding a recall with the strong form of Darcy Cameron.

R13 medical sub: Jay Rantall (replaced Murphy)

Verdict: Grundy, Keane and Adams for Lynch, Moore and De Goey. Rantall in if Adams isn't passed fit. – Mitch Cleary

Brodie Grundy is helped from the field in round 11, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

The Bombers won't be looking to make too many unforced changes after last week's grinding win over Hawthorn. Andrew Phillips played well at VFL level as did Martin Gleeson, while youngster Zach Reid also returned after missing a period with glandular fever. Mid-season recruit Sam Durham was an emergency last week as was Patrick Ambrose and they could be in the frame for a spot in the senior side for this week's clash with ladder-leaders Melbourne. David Zaharakis (hamstring) and Alec Waterman (calf) could be available for the contest with the Dees.

R14 medical sub: Tom Cutler (unused)

Verdict: Waterman in for Ned Cahill

Alec Waterman marks the ball against West Coast in round 11, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Key forward Matt Taberner has been held back with an ankle ligament injury but appears likely to finally return after a month on the sidelines. He looks to be ahead of skipper Nat Fyfe, who is pushing to overcome a dislocated right shoulder and must pass some testing this week to take on Collingwood, proving he has regained strength and mobility during a two-week recovery. Defender Griffin Logue is an automatic inclusion if he is clear of concussion symptoms, having served his 12 days on the sidelines and had an extra rest over the bye. Small forward Sam Switkowski is expected to be available after a hamstring injury, while defender Nathan Wilson has served a one-match suspension and can return. 

R13 medical substitute: Connor Blakely (unused)

Verdict: Taberner, Fyfe, Logue and Wilson for Crowden, Western, Bewley and Conca – Nathan Schmook  

Griffin Logue in action against Sydney in round 10, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Mitch Duncan's long-term knee injury opens a spot for a midfielder to break into the side that knocked off the Western Bulldogs. There is also a watch on Tom Hawkins who injured his neck late in the win with early signs positive he'll play. Lachie Henderson should return after he was a late out with a hip complaint, which could prompt Mark O'Connor – who played as a defender – to move back to the midfield and renew acquaintances with Lachie Neale. Gryan Miers is also in the conversation after getting through the VFL. Quinton Narkle, who played last week, should keep his spot as Duncan's replacement, while last week's medical sub Shaun Higgins will again be in the frame after he was 'managed' yet played 72 per cent game time. Jordan Clark is pushing for a recall after 25 disposals and three goals in the VFL, while Charlie Constable (33 touches) can't be forgotten, along with carryover emergency Zach Guthrie. Rhys Stanley (23 disposals, 24 hitouts and a goal) is also waiting in the wings if they want to push Blicavs back.

R14 medical sub: Shaun Higgins (replaced Duncan)

Verdict: Henderson to replace Duncan in the starting side, with Narkle to keep his spot and O'Connor to play as a tagger. Miers to replace Higgins as the medical sub. - Mitch Cleary

Lachie Henderson goes for a run in round two, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

The Suns will have to make a couple of forced changes ahead of Saturday's match against North Melbourne in Hobart with skipper David Swallow (concussion) and midfielder Lachie Weller (hamstring) to miss. After a run last week as the medi-sub, this could be the chance for Brayden Fiorini to show his wares at the top level in Swallow's absence, while Ben Ainsworth, Jeremy Sharp and Darcy Macpherson all impressed at VFL level (check out the VFL stats here). Vice-captain Sam Collins, a late omission against Port, will again miss with an ankle problem, ensuring Caleb Graham will keep his spot.

R14 medical sub: Brayden Fiorini (replaced Swallow)

Verdict: Fiorini and Ainsworth for Swallow and Weller – Michael Whiting

Brayden Fiorini gets a kick away in a Gold Coast practice match, 2021. Picture: Getty Images

Josh Kelly and Bobby Hill each rolled an ankle in the opening term against Carlton and will face a fitness test later in the week. The Giants are hopeful an eight-day break will help both be OK to play Hawthorn on Sunday. Brent Daniels was moving well in training last week and is now ready to return from a hamstring injury that has sidelined him since round seven. Shane Mumford is also available after resting a back injury, but the Giants might stick with young ruck duo Matt Flynn and Kieren Briggs. Tom Green had an off-day, finishing with 11 disposals (his lowest count this year) that included four clangers, but has credits in the bank. Mid-season draftee James Peatling continues to impress in the VFL, gathering 27 disposals and five tackles last week, and is pushing for a debut.

R14 medical sub: Lachie Ash (unused)

Verdict: Daniels and Mumford in for Hill and Briggs. Ash to again start as medical sub. - Martin Pegan

Giants teammates help Shane Mumford celebrate a goal. Picture: AFL Photos

Key back Kyle Hartigan and midfielder James Worpel are now available for selection after serving suspensions. Ollie Hanrahan (28 disposals) found plenty of the footy in the VFL (full Box Hill Hawks R10 stats here), and while Ned Reeves now has a match under his belt after a rolled ankle, the imposing frame of Shane Mumford looms large. Midfielder Jai Newcombe (six touches) found the going a little tougher in his second game.

R14 medical sub: Conor Nash (unused)

Verdict: Worpel and Hartigan in for Newcombe and Tim O'Brien – Sarah Black

Hawthorn's James Worpel handballs against Sydney in round 13, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

The bye has done wonders for the Demons, with Jack Viney to return from eight weeks on the sidelines with a toe injury. Bailey Laurie (eye), Deakyn Smith (ankle) and Joel Smith (knee) will also return from long-term absences, but likely through the VFL. Viney should replace Tom Sparrow for Saturday night's clash with the Bombers, after the youngster was held to just 10 touches in the side's last match against the Magpies. Sam Weideman was kept goalless from just four disposals in that game and will be looking to improve upon his output, with new recruit Ben Brown waiting in the wings.

R14 medical sub: Did Not Play

Verdict: Viney to replace Sparrow. – Riley Beveridge

Jack Viney of the Demons marks the ball during round six, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

The Kangaroos are hopeful Taylor Garner will return for this week's clash with the Suns, having overcome an ankle injury. Will Phillips should also come into contention, after winning 31 disposals and laying seven tackles in a VFL victory over Coburg. Young forward Eddie Ford kicked two goals from 17 touches in that clash to continue pushing for a senior debut, while Tom Campbell finished with 21 disposals, 29 hitouts and kicked a goal before hurting his ankle. If fit, he could be considered for Tristan Xerri who had just five touches in Saturday's loss to the Lions. Lachie Young, an unused medical sub on the weekend, might play VFL football to get minutes under his belt. Kyron Hayden returned from a hamstring injury through the VFL, but is unlikely to be ready just yet.

R14 medical sub: Lachie Young (unused)

Verdict: Phillips to replace Young in the 23, with Campbell also a chance to return for Xerri if he overcomes an ankle problem. – Riley Beveridge

Will Phillips at North Melbourne training, June 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Second-year forward Dylan Williams looks set to make his debut against Sydney after booting six goals in the SANFL. With small forward Robbie Gray (knee) and draftee Lachie Jones (hamstring) both injured in round 14, there is an opening for the 186cm Williams, who was recruited with pick No.23 in the 2019 NAB AFL Draft. Fellow forward Todd Marshall has completed his 12-day concussion protocol and is available, while medical substitute Hamish Hartlett is an option for promotion to the 22 if further changes are made. Hartlett is an ideal replacement for Jones in defence, and if Marshall comes in it is likely to be for a tall forward, with second ruck Peter Ladhams the most vulnerable. Sam Mayes (27 disposals and 13 tackles) and Boyd Woodcock (22 and eight clearances) made strong cases in the SANFL.

R14 medical substitute: Hamish Hartlett (replaced Robbie Gray)

Verdict: Williams, Marshall and Hartlett for Gray, Ladhams and Jones – Nathan Schmook  

Hamish Hartlett gestures to the crowd in round four, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

The Tigers are set for a selection crunch, with Dion Prestia (hamstring) and David Astbury (Achilles) ready to return, bar any mishaps. Marlion Pickett played VFL last weekend while the AFL side had a bye, as did Daniel Rioli – the pair both played against the Eagles in round 13. Josh Caddy may also be an option to come out of the side. We're unlikely to see a defender come out due to Liam Baker's versatility allowing room for Astbury to return.

R13 medical sub: Hugo Ralphsmith (unused)

Verdict: Pickett and Rioli out for Prestia and Astbury – Sarah Black

Tiger Dion Prestia in action during the 2020 Grand Final. Picture: AFL Photos

Rowan Marshall is on track to play his first game since round nine and tackle Richmond on Friday night. Tim Membrey and Seb Ross will also return after taking leave to return to their families in Victoria. Hunter Clark will miss up to two months with his fractured jaw sustained against Adelaide, while Jack Bytel, who was the medical sub in the loss, won't be up for selection after suffering concussion at training. Mason Wood, Jack Lonie, Nick Coffield and Ben Long also remain on the fringe, Dan Butler (nine disposals) was quiet, however Tom Highmore was one of their best against the Crows. Leo Connolly was named an emergency last week after overcoming a shin injury and will again be in the frame. James Frawley is pushing to overcome a shoulder injury but may need to return through the VFL.

R13 medical sub: Jack Bytel (replaced Clark)

Verdict: Membrey, Ross and Marshall, for Clark, Lonie and Hunter - Mitch Cleary

The Saints celebrate a Tim Membrey goal. Picture: AFL Photos

Will Hayward will have to pass the usual concussion protocols after copping a head knock against Hawthorn and being subbed out of the match before the bye, while Sam Wicks will miss a week with suspension for a high bump. The Swans are continuing their cautious approach with young guns Braeden Campbell, Errol Gulden and Chad Warner, so will have to call on others to cover Wicks and perhaps Hayward. The Swans VFL team also had a bye but the week before saw the usual suspects Sam Gray (32 disposals), Dylan Stephens (32) and Ryan Clarke (30) get plenty of the ball, while young forward Hayden McLean kicked four goals.

R13 medical sub: Lewis Taylor (replaced Will Hayward)

Verdict: Stephens in for Wicks. Taylor to again start as medical sub. - Martin Pegan

Dylan Stephens celebrates a goal in round seven, 2021. Picture: Getty Images

Captain Luke Shuey blitzed his WAFL return and looks set to play just his second game this season after recovering from a serious hamstring injury. All-Australian defender Brad Sheppard is also available after completing his 12-day concussion protocol. The cavalry is coming for the Eagles, with star midfielder Tim Kelly training well on Tuesday and also likely to return after recovering from a knee injury. Defenders Jeremy McGovern and Alex Witherden have recovered from knee and groin injuries respectively. Witherden impressed in the WAFL over the bye, while McGovern was rested for another week. Expect at least four top-line inclusions, with unlucky youngsters making way after impressing against Richmond.

R13 medical substitute: Xavier O'Neill (unused)  

Verdict: Shuey, Sheppard, Kelly and McGovern for Luke Foley, Luke Edwards, Harry Edwards and Jake Waterman – Nathan Schmook  

Jeremy McGovern leads the Eagles out in round five, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

The Dogs have made their way over to Perth for this week's clash with West Coast, with Aaron Naughton expected to play after last week's rib concern from the defeat to Geelong. If he doesn't, Josh Schache is on hand to replace him after booting six goals last week at VFL level. Ed Richards and Riley Garcia are also in the mix to come into Luke Beveridge's side, although ruckman Stef Martin didn't travel to Western Australia. He is likely to play in the VFL this week after recovering from his shoulder injury.

R14 medical sub: Mitch Wallis (used)

Verdict: No change. – Callum Twomey

Aaron Naughton in the hands of trainers during the Bulldogs round 14, 2021 game. Picture: AFL Photos