ESSENDON has been forced into five late changes for Saturday night's clash against Hawthorn after a virus swept through the club in the past two days.

Jordan Ridley, Alec Waterman, Matt Guelfi, Sam Durham and Jake Kelly are all out.

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Devon Smith, who was originally listed with a knee injury, is among the five inclusions along with Aaron Francis, Brandon Zerk-Thatcher, Kaine Baldwin and Brayden Ham.

Debutant Alastair Lord is also in the 23 and will start as the sub.

03:22 Mins
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Match Previews R8: Essendon v Hawthorn

Sportsbet's Nathan Brown and Matthew Richardson preview the game between the Bombers and Hawks at Marvel Stadium.

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"Late in the week we had a handful of players succumb to illness, and we’ve given them every opportunity to be fit for tonight’s game. As a result, we’ve had to make five forced changes, which includes debutant Alastair Lord being named as medical sub," football manager Josh Mahoney said.

"Devon Smith, who wasn’t originally listed as an emergency, has also come into the side after putting his hand up to be available. The plan for Dev was for him to complete a mini-preseason to build up the muscles around his knee. Given the situation, Dev put his hand up to play and we are looking forward to him contributing tonight."

The Hawks have also made a late change with Chad Wingard also succumbing to a virus.

Wingard, who was due to play his 200th game, has been replaced by Connor Macdonald.

Essendon v Hawthorn at Marvel Stadium, 7.25pm AEST

LATE CHANGES
Essendon: Jordan Ridley, Jake Kelly, Matt Guelfi, Sam Durham, Alec Waterman (all illness) replaced in selected side by Brandon Zerk-Thatcher, Brayden Ham, Kaine Baldwin, Aaron Francis, Devon Smith
Hawthorn: Chad Wingard (illness) replaced in selected side by Connor Macdonald

MEDICAL SUBS
Essendon: Alastair Lord
Hawthorn: Liam Shiels

BOMBERS v HAWKS Follow it LIVE

Brisbane v West Coast at the Gabba, 7.25pm AEST

NO LATE CHANGES

MEDICAL SUBS
Brisbane: Tom Berry
West Coast: Declan Mountford

LIONS v EAGLES Follow it LIVE

Greater Western Sydney v Geelong at Manuka Oval, 4.35pm AEST

LATE CHANGES
Greater Western Sydney: None
Geelong:
Rhys Stanley replaced in selected side by Zach Guthrie

MEDICAL SUBS
Greater Western Sydney: Matt de Boer
Geelong:
Mitch Knevitt 

GIANTS v CATS Full match coverage and stats

Richmond v Collingwood at the MCG, 1.45pm AEST

NO LATE CHANGES

MEDICAL SUBS
Richmond: Sydney Stack
Collingwood: Jack Madgen

TIGERS v MAGPIES Full match coverage and stats

Sydney v Gold Coast at the SCG, 1.45pm AEST

LATE CHANGES
Sydney: Nil
Gold Coast: Noah Anderson (illness) replaced in selected side by Alex Davies

MEDICAL SUBS
Sydney: Ryan Clarke
Gold Coast: Darcy Macpherson

SWANS v SUNS Full match coverage and stats