- Blues, Tigers name debutants
- Key forwards overlooked
- Newman in shock return
THERE will be two debutants in Thursday night's clash between Richmond and Carlton, with each club choosing to blood a first gamer under lights in the season opener at the MCG.
But both teams have thrown in a selection surprise on Wednesday night, with the Tigers leaving out key forward Tyrone Vickery and Carlton not picking Levi Casboult. Both of the tall targets have been named emergencies.
In a shock, Richmond veteran Chris Newman has been named despite undergoing minor heart surgery last month.
The Blues' third pick at last year's NAB AFL Draft, Clem Smith, will make his senior debut after an impressive NAB Challenge series and first pre-season with the club.
The combative 19-year-old, who Carlton grabbed with pick No.60, is one of three new faces for the Blues, joining former Giant Kristian Jaksch and ex-Bulldog Liam Jones in their first games for the club.
Tigers coach Damien Hardwick has picked a slightly more mature debutant, with third-year wingman Kamdyn McIntosh set to play his first game for the club.
McIntosh was cut down by a foot stress fracture last year but the West Australian remained on the club's senior list and has been rewarded by round one selection.
Both clubs welcome back stars for the season-opening game who have had injury-hit preparation. Bryce Gibbs has recovered from his shoulder injury to be passed fit to play, while Chris Yarran has overcome his virus.
Richmond pair Trent Cotchin (hamstring) and Brett Deledio (Achilles) have been named for the Tigers, despite injury concerns in the pre-season.
CARLTON v RICHMOND
MCG, Thursday April 2, 7.20pm AEDT
NEW: Clem Smith (Perth)
NEW: Kamdyn McIntosh (Peel Thunder)