WHO IS a chance to play in round four?

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 R4 ins and outs. Check it out.

Taylor Walker is available after his six-game suspension, but the Crows may not need him after Elliott Himmelberg and Lachlan Gollant both kicked four goals in their Showdown win. Darcy Fogarty has struggled for impact lately and could be the player to make way for 31-year-old Walker. Adelaide took the cautious option in leaving skipper Rory Sloane out of the Showdown with an adductor issue so he's likely to return, with Brayden Cook or Chayce Jones at risk of making way. Andrew McPherson has also returned to fitness after a hamstring injury but Adelaide may persist with the experiment of playing Billy Frampton down back. Sam Berry (28 disposals) and Shane McAdam (three goals) have been pushing for a return to the seniors but may need to wait to break into a winning side. McAdam could get his chance if Lachlan Murphy is unable to prove his fitness after copping a late hit to his neck.

R3 medical substitute: Luke Pedlar (unused)

Verdict: Walker and Sloane for Fogarty and Cook. - Ben Somerford

Taylor Walker celebrates a goal in round 19, 2021. Picture: Getty Images

The main decision ahead of Friday night's match against Geelong is who comes in for suspended ruckman Oscar McInerney. Much like the senior team did, the VFL team thumped North Melbourne by 104 points last week with plenty of players impressing. Tom Fullarton kicked three goals and could come into Chris Fagan's preferred three-tall forward line, while Jack Payne has also spent time forward during the pre-season. A left field option could be giving medium-tall Connor McFadyen a debut.

R3 medical substitute: Harry Sharp (unused)

Verdict: Fullarton in for McInerney. Provides a tall target and support for Darcy Fort in the ruck. - Michael Whiting

Tom Fullarton celebrates a goal during the 2021 first semi-final. Picture: AFL Photos

The Blues will regain speedster Adam Saad for Sunday's clash with the Suns, given he will exit the AFL's health and safety protocols on Saturday. He should replace last week's debutant, Jordan Boyd, in the backline. Marc Pittonet was subbed off late last week with a back complaint. Could Jack Martin, the man who replaced him, come into the 22 if Michael Voss opts for a smaller forward set-up? Liam Stocker might need one more week in the VFL after recovering from a syndesmosis injury. Paddy Dow had 30 disposals and two goals in the reserves last week, while Jesse Motlop kicked four, with both closing on senior appearances. Lewis Young was solid in his club debut against the Hawks and could keep out Oscar McDonald, regardless of the status of his back injury.

R3 medical substitute: Jack Martin (replaced Marc Pittonet)

Verdict: Saad and Martin to return to the 22 in place of Boyd and Pittonet. - Riley Beveridge

Richmond's Jack Ross and Carlton's Adam Saad contest a mark in round one, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Jordan Roughead is set to return for his first game of the season after overcoming shoulder surgery in February, just in time to tackle West Coast key forwards Jack Darling and Josh Kennedy. The Pies will lose Jordan De Goey for the clash at Marvel Stadium due to suspension after his tackle on Patrick Dangerfield. Callum Brown put his hand up for a recall after being named emergency, collecting 27 disposals, 11 tackles and seven clearances in the VFL. Finlay Macrae also played well against Geelong's VFL side, while Ash Johnson pressed his claims for a debut, kicking 4.3 from 16 disposals and nine marks. Mason Cox might find it hard to reclaim his spot from Darcy Cameron after the former Swan polled five coaches votes, although the American kicked three goals against the Cats.

Round 3 substitute: Tyler Brown (unused)

Verdict: Roughead in for Jack Madgen. Callum Brown to replace Jordan De Goey. - Josh Gabelich

Jordan Roughead gets a handball away in round 22, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

The Bombers will consider blooding first-round pick Ben Hobbs for an AFL debut after he impressed at VFL level last week with 24 disposals and a goal. Nik Cox will need to prove his fitness from an ankle injury before he comes into the side, with Alec Waterman also a possibility after kicking three goals in the VFL. Tex Wanganeen had a full game last week having made his 'debut' as the medical substitute in round two and was energetic, kicking his first AFL goal. Hobbs could come into the side for him if the Bombers want some extra midfield options. 

R3 medical substitute: Devon Smith (unused)

Verdict: Hobbs in for Wanganeen, who then becomes the sub. – Callum Twomey

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Veteran David Mundy (H&S protocols) and ruckman Sean Darcy (ankle) should both return to boost Fremantle's midfield. Darcy Tucker was stretchered off in the derby and has entered concussion protocols, so Mundy looks set to replace him after returning to training this week. Darcy's availability would create a dilemma given the Dockers' wealth of talls, but they may persist with him alongside Lloyd Meek and Rory Lobb, with a small such as Brandon Walker, Nathan O'Driscoll or Travis Colyer shuffled to medi sub. Caleb Serong was on crutches last week with knee soreness and his availability will be guided by how he responds when he returns to training during the week. Defender Alex Pearce wasn’t on the club's injury list despite having a scan on Monday on an ankle knock from the derby.

R3 medical substitute: Bailey Banfield (replaced Darcy Tucker)

Verdict: Mundy and Darcy for Tucker and O'Driscoll. – Ben Somerford

David Mundy runs laps at Fremantle training on January 12, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

Mark O'Connor and Quinton Narkle are banging on Chris Scott's door for a recall, but it might be hard to find room for them given the fightback win over Collingwood. Luke Dahlhaus was left out of the 22, but made a big impact in the final quarter when he replaced Esava Ratugolea on Saturday night and might force his way back into the starting side. Gryan Miers (22 disposals and two goals) is pushing for a return to senior football after recovering from a syndesmosis. Cooper Stephens is still chasing an elusive debut, with the former first-round pick collecting another 25 touches in the VFL on the weekend to put his hand up for a chance.  

Round 3 substitute: Luke Dahlhaus (replaced Esava Ratugolea)

Verdict: Given the role O'Connor performed on Lachie Neale last year, the Cats could recall the Irishman. No Oscar McInerney could mean they leave out Ratugolea this Friday night. - Josh Gabelich

Lachie Neale and Mark O'Connor grapple in round two, 2021. Picture: Getty Images

Like last week, Izak Rankine (corked quad) will have to undergo a fitness test, but coach Stuart Dew sounds confident he'll play. The Suns were poor against Greater Western Sydney, which might open the door for a few changes against Carlton. Small forward Mal Rosas was terrific for a second straight week in the VFL, while Jy Farrar and Sam Day also put in strong performances. Josh Corbett is also knocking on the door.

R2 medical substitute: Josh Corbett (unused)

Verdict: Rankine in for Alex Sexton. If Rankine doesn't get up, Rosas to get a chance. - Michael Whiting

Gold Coast teammates celebrate an Izak Rankine goal. Picture: AFL Photos

After winning their first game of the season at the weekend it's unlikely the Giants will make many changes to face Fremantle. The big watch is around defender Nick Haynes (ankle) after he left the game early against Gold Coast. GWS already has enough tall defenders, with Lachie Keeffe able to switch to the backline to cover Haynes if needed.

No.3 draft pick Finn Callaghan again impressed in the VFL with 20 disposals and two goals, while fellow draftee Cooper Hamilton also performed strongly.

R2 medical substitute: Adam Kennedy (replaced Haynes)

Verdict: Callaghan in for Haynes if he misses. - Michael Whiting

Giants draftee Finn Callaghan. Picture: AFL Photos

With skipper Ben McEvoy ruled out for the foreseeable future, the Hawks might opt to recall Max Lynch who has missed the past fortnight due to concussion. The former Magpie barely played in round one and could rejoin Ned Reeves in tandem. Tom Phillips was the clear standout for Box Hill and put his hand up for a recall, gathering 28 disposals and 11 tackles. Jarman Impey played three quarters in the VFL in his first game back from a foot and ankle issue, but might need some more time before he is ready for senior selection. After being named emergency last weekend, Ned Long played a key role for Box Hill on Sunday, tagging former Bulldog Will Hayes in the second half and finishing with 20 disposals and 11 tackles to edge closer to a senior opportunity.

Round 3 substitute: Daniel Howe (replaced Jack Scrimshaw)

Verdict: Lynch to get another chance at senior level after exiting concussion protocols, with Jack Scrimshaw coming out of the side due to injury. - Josh Gabelich

Jack Scrimshaw leaves the MCG looking sore but happy after round three, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

The unbeaten Demons have selection decisions to make at either end of the field. Premiership defenders Jake Lever (foot) and Harrison Petty (calf) will be available for Thursday night's clash with the Power. Lever looks likely to replace Joel Smith, but could they bring Petty back through the VFL after such a long period on the sidelines? Up forward, Ben Brown will exit the AFL's health and safety protocols on Thursday morning. But will he play? Sam Weideman kicked a career-high four goals last week and might need a run of games to build some momentum. Tom McDonald is one option to go out of the team for Brown, given he was held to just one goal from six touches in last week's win over the Bombers. Kade Chandler had 22 disposals and two goals in the VFL over the weekend, but finding a place for him in the side will be an issue.

R3 medical substitute: Toby Bedford (unused)

Verdict: Lever to replace Smith, with Brown made to wait another week. Petty to return via the VFL. - Riley Beveridge

The Kangaroos desperately need reinforcements after a whopping 108-point loss to the Lions and should see some relief in the return of Luke Davies-Uniacke from the AFL's concussion protocols. Last week's sub Aiden Bonar played the final quarter at the Gabba, but might be promoted to the 22 for Saturday's clash with the Swans to provide a young side with a bigger body. Flynn Perez has made a successful recovery from an ACL injury and had 21 disposals and eight marks in the VFL on the weekend. He could be another considered for selection. In a poor performance on Saturday night, there were few who covered themselves in glory. Young duo Bailey Scott (10 disposals) and Tom Powell (seven touches) were both quiet and might find their places in the side under threat for the time being.

R3 medical substitute: Aiden Bonar (replaced McKay in last quarter)

Verdict: Davies-Uniacke and Bonar to return for Powell and Scott. - Riley Beveridge

West Coast's Willie Rioli checks on North Melbourne's Luke Davies-Uniacke in round two, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Port will be sweating on veteran Robbie Gray's availability having been close to returning from a knee injury before being forced into the league's health and safety protocols last week and missing the Showdown. Gray will have a tight turnaround once he's out of protocols to prove his fitness. Sam Skinner was subbed out of the Showdown with an ankle sprain but has been cleared of serious injury and should be available, while fellow key defender Tom Clurey has quickly recovered from a knee injury but this game may come too soon. Xavier Duursma was omitted last round and picked up a neck injury in the SANFL and is unlikely to be considered, while Miles Bergman is the one pushing for a recall from below. Ruckman Sam Hayes may be considered as back-up to Scott Lycett to counter Melbourne's Max Gawn-Luke Jackson ruck combination too.

R3 medical substitute: Martin Frederick (replaced Sam Skinner)

Verdict: Gray for Frederick. - Ben Somerford

Robbie Gray receives treatment for an injury during Port Adelaide's R1 clash with Brisbane on March 19, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

There will be some changes at the selection table at Punt Road this week with Dion Prestia (hamstring) set to be back from his hamstring injury and Jack Riewoldt (thumb) also expected to return. Dylan Grimes will be a forced out with his hamstring setback. Ben Miller was omitted last week when Grimes returned from soreness so could come back in to fill a defensive post, while the Tigers will have to think about another possible debutant, with draftee Tyler Sonsie starring at VFL level with 34 disposals and a goal. 

R3 medical substitute: Jake Aarts (replaced Dylan Grimes)

Verdict: Riewoldt, Miller and Prestia in for Grimes, Jake Aarts and Jack Ross– Callum Twomey

Dion Prestia jogs laps during a Richmond training session on March 24, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

Marcus Windhager is banging on the door after two strong showings across the first fortnight of the VFL season. The next generation academy graduate finished with 31 touches, 11 clearances and two goals in a brilliant display in the wet last Sunday. Ryan Byrnes responded strongly after being dropped, collecting 26 disposals, five clearances and a goal, while Mitch Owens is also hunting another chance after making his debut in round one, after collecting 20 disposals, six clearances and two goals.

Round 3 substitute: Ben Long (replaced Jack Higgins)

Verdict: Byrnes in to replace the injured Jack Higgins. The Saints trialled the Ryder-Marshall-Hayes combination against Richmond and should persist with it. - Josh Gabelich

Ryan Byrnes handballs against Collingwood in round one, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

Coach John Longmire has already confirmed Port Adelaide recruit Peter Ladhams will play his first game for the club following the knee injury suffered by Tom Hickey. Justin McInerney is also expected to be available after missing the past two matches with a knee problem. Logan McDonald handled his demotion superbly at VFL level, kicking four goals, while draftee Matt Roberts, James Bell and Angus Sheldrick also impressed.
 
R2 medical substitute: Ben Ronke (replaced Hickey)
 
Verdict: Ladhams for Hickey and McInerney for Dylan Stephens. - Michael Whiting

Peter Ladhams in action for Sydney during a 2022 practice match. Picture: AFL Photos

The Eagles are again expected to get several players back after stints in the health and safety protocols, with both Tom Barrass and Bailey Williams seen at training on Tuesday. Captain Luke Shuey, Liam Duggan and Willie Rioli are due out of protocols later in the week and will be picked pending their physical condition. Elliot Yeo, Tim Kelly and Jamie Cripps aren't far off playing but that won't be on Saturday against Collingwood. Jamaine Jones was subbed out of the Derby with hamstring tightness but trained strongly on Tuesday and should be available.

R3 medical substitute: Jake Waterman (replaced Jamaine Jones)

Verdict: Barrass, B.Williams, Shuey, Duggan and Rioli for H.Edwards, Dixon, L.Edwards, Hough and Langdon. – Ben Somerford

West Coast's Luke Shuey in action during round 23, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Lachie McNeil kicked five goals in the VFL last week and will be pushing for a return to the Dogs' senior side after playing 13 games in his debut season last year. Rhylee West also dominated in the VFL picking up 33 disposals. Hayden Crozier will be a chance to come back into the senior side after being managed and playing VFL last week following his illness in round two, with the Dogs to make at least one change with Zaine Cordy to miss through concussion. 

R3 medical substitute: Mitch Wallis (replaced Zaine Cordy)

Verdict: Bailey Williams in the 22 for Cordy. – Callum Twomey

01:44 Mins
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