WHO IS a chance to play in round eight?
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 R8 ins and outs. Check it out.
The Crows have two forced changes with Brodie Smith and Ned McHenry unavailable having entered concussion protocols, while the selectors may want to swing some changes after a poor 59-point home loss to Greater Western Sydney. Harry Schoenberg will likely come into the 22 after being medi-sub, while Wayne Milera has steadily built at SANFL level, collecting 23 disposals in a good win over South Adelaide on Sunday. Milera is in line to take Smith's spot, while Josh Worrell, Patrick Parnell and Will Hamill will be considered too. James Rowe looms as the likely figure to take McHenry's spot, having had 24 disposals and one goal in the SANFL. Rowe lost his spot due to a lack of forward pressure but had four tackles in the SANFL. Tariek Newchurch was lively in the SANFL too. Former NAB AFL Draft pick two Riley Thilthorpe spent the past week in health and safety protocols meaning Lachlan Gollant should hold despite a down day against GWS.
R7 medical substitute: Harry Schoenberg (replaced Brodie Smith)
Verdict: Rowe, Milera and Schoenberg for Smith, McHenry and Hately. - Ben Somerford
The big question is who will replace the forward-line void left by Joe Daniher (shoulder)? If Chris Fagan wants to go with another tall forward – and he's shown over the years he loves three tall forwards – the candidates are Tom Fullarton and Jack Payne. There's also the option of giving a debut to Connor McFadyen, who marks well overhead for his size. Nakia Cockatoo kicked three goals in the VFL and could be considered if the Lions want to go smaller. Tom Berry and Deven Robertson were also excellent at the lower level.
R7 medical substitute: James Madden (replaced Joe Daniher)
Verdict: Fullarton for Daniher. - Michael Whiting
The Blues should regain Zac Williams, who missed last week with a minor Achilles problem. He will replace Liam Stocker down back, after the youngster both hurt his shoulder and copped a one-match suspension against the Kangaroos. George Hewett will undergo a fitness test later this week to determine whether he will miss a second game with a calf problem. If fit, expect him to replace last week's sub Matt Cottrell and for either Lochie O'Brien or Jack Newnes to fill the 23rd man role. Lewis Young escaped a one-match suspension at the AFL Tribunal on Tuesday night and will fill an important key defensive role down back against the Crows' tall trio of Taylor Walker, Elliott Himmelberg and Lachie Gollant.
R7 medical substitute: Matt Cottrell (replaced Liam Stocker)
Verdict: Williams and Hewett to replace Stocker and Cottrell, with O'Brien to be the sub. – Riley Beveridge
Ollie Henry is almost demanding another opportunity at AFL level after booting seven goals against Coburg in the VFL last weekend. He has now kicked 12 in three games since being dropped after round four. Mason Cox pressed his case for another shot in the wake of Brodie Grundy's injury, finishing with 25 hitouts, 21 disposals, seven marks and three goals. Caleb Poulter is yet to be seen at AFL level in 2022, but is in contention after a strong showing in the VFL, along with Finn Macrae who has produced a sustained patch in the VFL.
R7 medical substitute: Reef McInnes (unused)
Verdict: Henry to get another opportunity at the expense of Tyler Brown. Aiden Begg to keep his spot, despite the form of Cox at VFL level. – Josh Gabelich
Nik Cox was substituted out of the defeat to the Western Bulldogs and will be in some doubt with his ankle injury in what has been a frustrating injury run for the second-year Bomber. Jake Stringer will also miss, with another hamstring strain set to rule him out for three or four weeks. Kaine Baldwin was quiet against the Dogs but Stringer’s injury could see him retain his place. Dylan Shiel replaced Cox in the side and performed solidly as the substitute after being omitted from the 22, while Nick Hind, Brayden Ham, Nick Bryan and Brandon Zerk-Thatcher are all around the mark of selection.
R7 medical substitute: Dylan Shiel (replaced Nik Cox)
Verdict: Shiel, Hind in for Cox, Stringer. – Callum Twomey
The Dockers will be forced into changes for Friday's game with North Melbourne with Blake Acres, Travis Colyer and Rory Lobb all entering health and safety protocols. The club has put in place a raft of restrictions to ensure there's no more outs, but watch this space. Sean Darcy should return after concussion and replace Lobb in a ruck/forward role alongside Lloyd Meek. Defenders Hayden Young and Heath Chapman are both available after their stints in health and safety protocols, which would see James Aish shuffle from the backline to Acres' wing. Griffin Logue could be the unlucky defender to make way given his size. Perennial medi-sub Bailey Banfield looms as Colyer's replacement but Sam Sturt is putting on pressure after three goals in the WAFL. Top 10 draft pick Jye Amiss has kicked eight goals in the past two WAFL games and may be considered for Matt Taberner's role, which Josh Treacy occupied last week, but Fremantle are wary of blooding him too early.
R7 medical substitute: Bailey Banfield (unused)
Verdict: Darcy, Chapman, Young and Banfield for Lobb, Acres, Logue and Colyer. – Ben Somerford
Geelong expects to regain superstar midfielder Patrick Dangerfield for the trip to the ACT after missing the Brownlow medallist across the past fortnight. Cooper Stephens has been pressing his case for a debut for some time in the VFL and produced another strong showing on the weekend, collecting 22 disposals. Zach Guthrie and Esava Ratugolea were also senior emergencies on the weekend and could be recalled for the trip to face Greater Western Sydney.
R7 medical substitute: Luke Dahlhaus (replaced Max Holmes)
Verdict: Expect Dangerfield to replace Holmes. Might be time to reward Stephens with Ollie Dempsey vulnerable after finishing with three touches against the Dockers. - Josh Gabelich
The Suns have some tricky decisions to make ahead of playing Sydney on Saturday. One easy one would be the inclusion of Wil Powell (hamstring) if he gets through main training after missing the loss against Collingwood. Rory Atkins did well in the VFL, as did Charlie Constable. Jeremy Sharp, who was the medical substitute against the Magpies, would offer a bit of outside speed and good ball use going inside 50, while Joel Jeffrey kicked three goals in the VFL and could be another forward target.
R7 medical substitute: Jeremy Sharp (replaced Connor Budarick)
Verdict: Powell for Alex Davies and Sharp into the 22 for Darcy Macpherson. - Michael Whiting
A thumping win over Adelaide and no fresh injuries puts the Giants in a good position to take an unchanged team into Saturday's big home match against Geelong. Jake Riccardi kicked nine goals in the VFL at the weekend to keep the pressure on the seniors, while sidekick Jarrod Brander also had a huge game with 27 disposals, 16 marks and a goal. Tanner Bruhn (31 touches) handled his demotion superbly to put his name in contention.
R7 medical substitute: Matt de Boer (unused)
Verdict: No changes. - Michael Whiting
Hawthorn has ruled out Changkuoth Jiath and Mitch Lewis for a third week, but has left the door open for Conor Nash to play after the Irishman was substituted out of Saturday night's loss to Melbourne. Not many are banging the door down in the VFL right now. Emerson Jeka slotted three goals for Box Hill against Casey, while Daniel Howe was impressive again. Josh Ward and Denver Grainger-Barras were managed last weekend and could come back in against the Bombers this weekend.
R7 medical substitute: Daniel Howe (replaced Conor Nash)
Verdict: Ward and Grainger-Barras to come back in for Nash and Connor Macdonald. - Josh Gabelich
The Demons will welcome back Alex Neal-Bullen, Kysaiah Pickett, Harrison Petty, Tom Sparrow and Luke Jackson from the AFL's health and safety protocols. Who they replace should be pretty straightforward. Jake Melksham will be the natural player to go out of the side for Neal-Bullen, Kade Chandler will likely head out of the 23 for Pickett, Joel Smith picked up an ankle injury last week and will make way for Petty, while Luke Dunstan has been the midfield replacement recently and should head out of the team for Sparrow. A decision will need to be made on whether Sam Weideman or Tom McDonald plays, with one set to make way for Jackson. Toby Bedford will probably head back into his customary sub role, despite a promising showing in the starting 22 last week. Michael Hibberd has suffered a setback in his recovery from a calf problem and will miss more time.
R7 medical substitute: Kade Chandler (replaced Joel Smith)
Verdict: Jackson, Neal-Bullen, Petty, Pickett and Sparrow to return for Weideman, Melksham, Chandler, Smith and Dunstan, with Bedford to be named as the substitute. – Riley Beveridge
Key defensive cover will return for the Kangaroos this weekend, with Ben McKay having served his suspension and with Aidan Corr having overcome an illness that has kept him sidelined. They will likely replace last week's debutant Miller Bergman, who hurt his shoulder in the opening stages of his first game, and medical sub Atu Bosenavulagi. The side will need to decide who will come in for the suspended Nick Larkey, with Charlie Comben firming as the most like-for-like replacement having overcome minor knee soreness last week. David Noble could opt for a smaller approach, though Eddie Ford is injured. Charlie Lazzaro might be the option, should the side head in that direction. The experienced Jed Anderson is a chance return to bolster a young midfield group. He could perhaps replace Flynn Perez on a wing, with either Curtis Taylor or Bailey Scott heading into a sub role for the trip to face the Dockers. Expect both Tom Powell and Will Phillips to get an extended run of football in the VFL before coming back into contention.
R7 medical substitute: Atu Bosenavulagi (replaced Miller Bergman)
Verdict: McKay, Corr, Comben and Anderson to replace Bergman, Bosenavulagi, Larkey and Perez. Either Taylor or Scott to file the role as sub. – Riley Beveridge
The Power appear confident on key forward Mitch Georgiades' availability for Friday's game with the Western Bulldogs despite calf tightness forcing him to be subbed out against St Kilda. Friday's game will come too soon for Charlie Dixon despite making rapid progress in recent weeks after an ankle injury which has kept him out all season. Miles Bergman remains unavailable due to a virus. Port had a good win in the SANFL with Lachie Jones and Jackson Mead impressing in midfield and half-back roles respectively, along with forward Dylan Williams who kicked three goals, but spots may be hard to come by in the AFL side after back-to-back wins.
R7 medical substitute: Xavier Duursma (replaced Mitch Georgiades)
Verdict: No changes. – Ben Somerford
The selection crunch is on at Tigerland, with Dustin Martin, Trent Cotchin, Marlion Pickett, Hugo Ralphsmith, Thomson Dow and Robbie Tarrant all likely to be available. Given the current strong backline mix, Tarrant may find it tough to force his way back in, unless Noah Balta is pushed forward. Dion Prestia (ankle/Achilles/illness) has a lengthy injury history and the club will be loath to risk him. Sub Jack Ross (six touches), inclusion Sydney Stack (five) and Riley Collier-Dawkins could be the ones to make way, while Maurice Rioli Jnr would consider himself stiff to be omitted after three goals and great pressure work.
R7 medical substitute: Jack Ross (replaced Dion Prestia)
Verdict: Martin, Cotchin and Pickett for Ross, Stack and Prestia. - Sarah Black
Jack Billings returned from a hamstring injury in the VFL on Sunday and put his hand up for a return to AFL level after gathering 21 touches and five tackles. Zak Jones also looks ready to return after getting through a second game for Sandringham unscathed, following an extended leave of absence at the start of the season. Rowan Marshall is expected to return after missing the loss to Port Adelaide due to a corked quad. Ryan Byrnes continues to press his case for another opportunity, this time kicking three goals from 25 disposals after returning from Cairns on Saturday night after being an unused emergency. Tom Highmore has been knocking on the door in recent weeks, but St Kilda's backline is difficult to break into at the moment. Former skipper Jarryn Geary is another name waiting for a spot to open after overcoming an interrupted start to 2022.
Round 7 medical substitute: Jarrod Lienert (unusued)
Verdict: Marshall to replace Tom Campbell. Jones and Billings to be included with Marcus Windhager and Ben Long squeezed out. - Josh Gabelich
The big watch this week will be on Paddy McCartin and Logan McDonald who will both be available to face Gold Coast if they pass their concussion tests. McCartin was particularly missed against Brisbane on Sunday and would be a big defensive boost. Tom Hickey has recovered from his knee injury quicker than expected and needs to get through main training on Thursday to be available. Colin O'Riordan and Dylan Stephens could come into the frame if Harry Cunningham fails to overcome the abdominal injury he suffered against Brisbane.
R7 medical substitute: James Bell (replaced Harry Cunningham)
Verdict: McDonald for Sam Reid, Hickey for Hayden McLean and McCartin for Ben Ronke (with Braeden Campbell pushing to a wing and Errol Gulden more forward). - Michael Whiting
Jackson Nelson and Alex Witherden will be unavailable for Saturday night's clash with Brisbane having entered health and safety protocols, while coach Adam Simpson hinted there may be more. Xavier O'Neill (knee) and Willie Rioli (hamstring) picked up injuries in the Richmond loss and will miss out. Ruckman Bailey Williams (hamstring) will also miss another game. Tom Barrass is set to return after a minor hamstring issue. Key defender Harry Edwards could be shuffled into the back-up ruck role with Williams out, with reports Luke Strnadica may be unavailable too. Andrew Gaff will come into the 22 after playing a half as medi-sub. Jamaine Jones, Jack Petruccelle and Josh Rotham may be recalled as like-for-like replacements for Nelson, Rioli and Witherden, the latter assuming Luke Foley is unavailable after a stint in health and safety protocols.
R7 medical substitute: Andrew Gaff (replaced Willie Rioli)
Verdict: Jones, Rotham, Petruccelle, Gaff and Barrass for Nelson, Witherden, Rioli, O'Neill and Strnadica. – Ben Somerford
Mitch Wallis faces a test this week after being substituted out of the win over the Bombers with an ankle issue. It was a shame for Wallis, who had started the game well with two goals. Anthony Scott missed last week's clash with Essendon due to the AFL's health and safety protocols but it will be a tight turnaround for him to be available to face Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval on Friday night. Hayden Crozier (27 disposals) and Rhylee West (26) were among the players who performed well at VFL level last week.
R7 medical substitute: Josh Schache (replaced Mitch Wallis)
Verdict: No changes. – Callum Twomey