GRAND FINAL TEAMS (L-R): Laitham Vandermeer, Jayden Hunt and Ryan Gardner. Pictures: AFL Photos

WESTERN Bulldogs pair Laitham Vandermeer and Ryan Gardner are the Toyota AFL Grand Final heartbreak stories after being dropped to face Melbourne on Saturday night.

The Dogs have recalled Alex Keath (hamstring) and Cody Weightman (concussion) to the side to face an unchanged Demons line-up at Perth's Optus Stadium.

Vandermeer was given the green light after a hamstring setback in the preliminary final win but has been named an emergency and presents as a possible medical sub option.


Zaine Cordy, a member of the Dogs' 2016 premiership side, was preferred over Gardner to partner Keath as the key pillars in defence.

Norm Smith medallist Jason Johannisen has retained his spot in the starting side from the win over Port Adelaide having been a medical sub in the elimination and semi-final wins.

Melbourne's Therabody AFL All-Australian defender Steven May has been passed fit from his own hamstring injury sustained in the preliminary final win over Geelong.

Veteran Michael Hibberd has again been given the nod in defence over Joel Smith.

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James Jordon – medical sub in the qualifying and preliminary final wins – has again been named an emergency alongside Jake Melksham, Jayden Hunt and Kade Chandler.

Hunt's last AFL game came in round 21, a match in which he was subbed out with an ankle injury.

First-year Dog and preliminary final medical sub Anthony Scott joins Vandermeer, Gardner and Ed Richards among his side's emergencies.

The medical subs will be finalised from the emergencies an hour before the 5.15pm AWST (7.15pm AEST) first bounce.


Saturday, September 25

2021 Toyota AFL Grand Final - Melbourne v Western Bulldogs at Optus Stadium, 5.15pm AWST

In: Nil
Out: J.Jordon (medi-sub)

Preliminary final sub: J.Jordon (replaced S.May)

In: A.Keath, C.Weightman
Out: R.Gardner (omitted), A.Scott (medi-sub), L.Vandermeer (omitted)

Preliminary final sub: A.Scott (replaced L.Vandermeer)