COLLINGWOOD coach Craig McRae was never likely to underestimate the significance of his club's age-old rivalry with Carlton.

But as the Magpies celebrated an upset of Fremantle last week, their first-year mentor received a frank reminder in text message form.

Just in case.

"Well done, but don't forget next week is the important one for us," the text read.

Jack Crisp celebrates a goal during Collingwood's clash against Fremantle in round 10, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

It was from former club president Eddie McGuire, who already had his one black-and-white eye on this Sunday's MCG showdown with the Blues.

The traditional heavyweight clubs have shared one of the fiercest rivalries in the competition's history.

From suburban VFL brawls to the AFL battles on the national stage, they have met 260 times for 128 wins apiece, plus four draws.

McRae will lean on that history in preparing Collingwood players for a round 11 fixture that could have a huge say in both sides' prospects this season.

Carlton's Nic Newman and Collingwood's Taylor Adams wrestle in round 18, 2021. Picture: Getty Images

It comes with Carlton (8-2) flying high in third spot and the Magpies (5-5) on the verge of breaking into the top eight as one of the season's surprise packets.

"There's a huge history between the two clubs and we'll be ready to keep that going," McRae said.

"I'll speak to the players tomorrow (Saturday) about that.

"We've been trying to honour our jumper all year, from the past to the present and the future.

WHO'S IN THE MIX? Every player to nominate for mid-season draft

"This is another part of that and we'll show some footage around what that looks like."

The rivalry takes a friendly twist in the coaches' boxes, where McRae will lock horns with Blues boss Michael Voss for the first time.

The occasion prompted their former Brisbane premiership teammate Simon Black to release an old photo of the pair via social media this week.

McRae and Voss were pictured showing off their chests in garish fancy dress during a 2003 end-of-season trip at Bourbon St in New Orleans.

"That was a bit rough, wasn't it? I didn't know whether to laugh or cry," McRae joked.

"Footy should be fun, it should be. We had some great memories of a long time ago, 20 years ago."

McRae touched base with Voss this week, claiming his old mate still owes him dinner after a catch-up earlier in the year.

"I'm rapt to see him doing so well," McRae said.

Craig McRae and Michael Voss celebrate after Brisbane won the 2001 AFL Grand Final over Essendon. Picture: AFL Photos

"We've clearly had a close friendship for a long time on and off the field, and had some fun."

McRae is still weighing up whether to play Mason Cox (finger) and Jack Ginnivan (soreness) after naming them in the extended squad despite injury concerns.

The pair completed training on Friday but forecast wet weather may count against ruck/forward Cox, who was substituted out of the win over Fremantle.

It was a busy day for the Magpies, with Jordan Roughead announcing his retirement and Nathan Kreuger placed on the inactive list.