WHO IS a chance to play in round 12?

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 R12 ins and outs. Check it out.

Crows defender Billy Frampton is the most likely option to replace Jordon Butts, who is unavailable due to concussion, with second-year rookie James Borlase another waiting for opportunity. Versatile backman Josh Worrell continues to toil in the SANFL and could be considered to add to his one AFL game. In attack, Taylor Walker will emerge from health and safety protocols and should be available, replacing one of the smalls and balancing the Crows' forward line. First-year forward Josh Rachele was rested in round 11 due to a corked thigh, but with a bye looming next week the Crows could take the option to give him a longer freshen up. Wingman Brayden Cook was an emergency against Geelong and is available to return. Chayce Jones impressed in the final quarter as the medical substitute and will push to be elevated into the 22, if not remain as the sub.

R11 medical substitute: Chayce Jones (replaced Jordon Butts) 

Verdict: Frampton, Walker and Cook for Butts, Wayne Milera and Matt Crouch – Nathan Schmook

Taylor Walker kicks the ball during Adelaide's clash against Brisbane in round nine, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

A huge decision coming at the selection table ahead of Sunday’s game against Fremantle with Hugh McCluggage expected to return from the hamstring niggle that kept him out last week. His replacement Deven Robertson was fantastic against GWS, sparking the flat Lions with 17 disposals and two goals and would be unlucky to miss out. Jaxon Prior and Cal Ah Chee are also on the fringe but playing terrific football. There is also the option of resting a senior player like captain Dayne Zorko or Jarryd Lyons, but that would be unusual two weeks before the bye.

R11 medical substitute: Mitch Robinson (unused)

Verdict: McCluggage for Robertson – Michael Whiting

Hugh McCluggage in action for Brisbane against Hawthorn in R10, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

Caleb Poulter has only managed one senior appearance this year but is in contention for another opportunity after amassing 29 disposals against Werribee on Sunday. Finlay Macrae has also been starved of opportunities in 2022, but fired at Avalon Airport Oval with 28 disposals, while Aiden Begg kept the pressure on Mason Cox by gathering 20 touches, 19 hit-outs and seven tackles, although Cox would be stiff to miss out after his . Liam McMahon also produced his strongest showing of the season, while Reef McInnes made an impact after being included in the 26-man squad. 

R11 medical substitute: Beau McCreery (unused)

Verdict: Good luck making a change to this team after a stunning fortnight for Craig McRae's side – Josh Gabelich

Mason Cox kicks the ball during Collingwood's clash with Carlton in round 11, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Captain Nat Fyfe is ready to play, but the Dockers have chosen to ease the superstar midfielder back through the WAFL. It raises the likelihood of an unchanged line-up coming off a magnificent win against reigning premier Melbourne at the MCG. Key forward Josh Treacy (three goals in the WAFL) is an option if Matt Taberner is unavailable, with the Dockers spearhead facing a fitness test later this week after experiencing back spasms. Others in the WAFL waiting for an opportunity are draftee Neil Erasmus (17 disposals and a goal), Mitch Crowden (27 and two) and Liam Henry (20 and one). Medium forward Sam Sturt was quiet after three strong performances at state league level.   

R11 medical substitute: Bailey Banfield (replaced Matt Taberner) 

Verdict: No changes. – Nathan Schmook

Nat Fyfe in action at Fremantle training on May 25, 2022. Picture: Fremantle FC

Gary Rohan and Rhys Stanley are racing the clock to prove their fitness in time to face the Western Bulldogs on Friday night. The pair missed the win over Adelaide at GMHBA Stadium, with Stanley missing three of the past four. Luke Dahlhaus continues to press his case for another opportunity at AFL level. The ex-Dog collected 25 touches, 11 clearances and kicked two goals against GWS in the VFL. Ollie Dempsey and Mitch Knevitt are also hunting for another opportunity after strong showings in the reserves.  

R11 medical substitute: Quinton Narkle (unused)

Verdict: Rhys Stanley to replace Shannon Neale – Josh Gabelich

Gary Rohan celebrates a goal for Geelong against Greater Western Sydney in the 2021 semi-final. Picture: AFL Photos

Following a resounding win over Hawthorn, the Suns look set to be even stronger against North Melbourne in Darwin on Saturday night with reliable defenders Jy Farrar (concussion) and Sean Lemmens (health and safety) expected to be available. Although it’s unlikely they’ll make too many changes, Brayden Fiorini responded superbly from being dropped by amassing 40 disposals and kicking two goals in the VFL, while Jack Bowes (30 touches) also continued to press his claims.

R11 medical substitute: Charlie Constable (unused)

Verdict: Farrar for Oleg Markov and Lemmens for Alex Davies, pushing Lachie Weller from half-back to wing – Michael Whiting

Gold Coast's Jy Farrar celebrates a goal during round 10 against Western Bulldogs at Mars Stadium in Ballarat on May 21, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Ned Reeves and Max Lynch are both in the mix to return if they can prove their fitness ahead of the clash against Collingwood on Sunday. Lynch missed the trip to Darwin due to concussion, while Reeves hasn’t played a game since dislocating his shoulder on Easter Monday. James Worpel was left in Melbourne and collected 22 disposals for Box Hill after being dropped a fortnight ago. Jackson Callow kicked four goals from 19 disposals and six marks against Gold Coast after being named in the 26-man squad for the game. Kyle Hartigan played at Metricon Stadium after being the unused medi-sub in Tasmania, but could be considered with Sam Frost accepting a one-game suspension. Jaeger O'Meara should return this weekend after missing with illness, while Jack Scrimshaw will miss due to concussion. 

R11 medical substitute: Finn Maginness (replaced Jack Scrimshaw)

Verdict: O'Meara for Scrimshaw. If Lynch is available, he will return and could provide Reeves more to recover – Josh Gabelich

00:51 Mins
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Hawks lose ruckman in cruel shoulder blow

Hawthorn has been dealt a worrying injury concern with Ned Reeves hurting his shoulder following this awkward landing

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The Demons will be significantly bolstered as they look to respond to their first loss in 17 games, with four premiership stars set to return. Tom McDonald should play following an ankle problem and could head back to replace the concussed Steven May, although Adam Tomlinson had 28 disposals and eight marks in the VFL and is another option. Ed Langdon is fit after a knock to the ribs and could come into the side for the oft-used substitute Toby Bedford. James Harmes has recovered from a hamstring issue and could be slotted into a smaller forward line, with Sam Weideman likely to make way. Meanwhile, Christian Salem is back after a knee issue and could replace Jake Melksham. Kade Chandler is also available after serving his suspension, while Michael Hibberd returned from a calf injury through the reserves last week. Expect both to play VFL.

R11 medical substitute: Luke Dunstan (replaced Steven May)

Verdict: McDonald, Langdon, Harmes and Salem to return for May, Bedford, Weideman and Melksham. Don't be surprised if Tomlinson is another in line for a recall – Riley Beveridge

Tom McDonald celebrates a goal against North Melbourne in round 10 on May 21, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

The Kangaroos' problems go from bad to worse, with scans revealing a hot spot on Cam Zurhaar's foot that will see him miss at least the next fortnight. One of his potential replacements, Charlie Comben, kicked three goals in the VFL last week but will now have to undergo surgery to fix a lower leg issue and will miss up to six weeks. Another one of his potential replacements, Callum Coleman-Jones, is battling quad tightness and is also a test to play. Jaidyn Stephenson had 23 disposals and five tackles in the VFL last week and could be recalled to a smaller forward line if Coleman-Jones doesn't get up. Ben McKay will need to make it through training this week to return from a knee problem. Expect a smaller defender like Kyron Hayden to be replaced, should he prove his fitness.

R11 medical substitute: Jack Mahony (unused)

Verdict: If fit, expect McKay to replace Hayden. As for Zurhaar's replacement, it could be either Coleman-Jones or Stephenson – Riley Beveridge

Kangaroos' Jaidyn Stephenson gets a kick during the round 10 VFL match against Sandringham Zebras at Trevor Barker Beach Oval on May 29, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

There’s a bit up in the air for the Swans ahead of Saturday night’s game against Melbourne at the MCG, top of the list being Lance Franklin’s tribunal hearing on Wednesday night. If the champion fails to overturn his one-match suspension, there’s a couple of options. Tom Hickey (toe) missed last weekend and is a chance to regain his spot depending on training this week, which could reunite his ruck tandem with Peter Ladhams. Hayden McLean or Joel Amartey could also replace Franklin if required. Nick Blakey should return after missing the win over Richmond through illness, while Dylan Stephens (37 disposals) impressed in the VFL.

R11 medical substitute: Robbie Fox (unused)

Verdict: Blakey for Colin O’Riordan. If Franklin’s ban is upheld, Tom Hickey returns pending fitness or McLean takes his place – Michael Whiting

00:49 Mins
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Is Buddy in hot water over this hit?

Lance Franklin makes high contact with Trent Cotchin as tempers flare at the SCG

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Shannon Hurn is available and expected to play after missing three matches with a calf injury, helping cover the potential absence of Jeremy McGovern, who will require a test on his back. If the Eagles need another tall option in defence, they could opt to blood draftee Rhett Bazzo, giving him exposure at AFL level, although that is more likely after the round 13 bye. Medical substitute Josh Rotham is also available as a versatile defender, while Luke Foley has now missed two matches with concussion. In the WAFL, wingman Patrick Naish had 21 first-half disposals before heading to Optus Stadium to fill his place as an AFL emergency. Dom Sheed (18 disposals) and Elliot Yeo (nine) played managed minutes and will continue to build fitness at that level. Hugh Dixon booted three goals.

R11 medical substitute: Josh Rotham (replaced Jeremy McGovern)

Verdict: Hurn, Naish, Foley and Dixon for McGovern, Nelson, Jones and Waterman – Nathan Schmook

Jeremy McGovern looks on with teammates after being defeated in round 11 against the Western Bulldogs at Optus Stadium on May 28, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

After their smashing of West Coast last week it seems unlikely the Bulldogs will make too many unforced changes, although a smattering of options performed well in their VFL side. Jamarra Ugle-Hagan kicked six goals, Josh Schache kicked three, Zaine Cordy booted two as did Jason Johannisen and Mitch Wallis collected 24 disposals. The Dogs will also recall star midfielder Bailey Smith, who missed last week through illness.

R11 medical substitute: Luke Cleary (unused)

Verdict: Robbie McComb an unlucky omission with Smith back – Callum Twomey

00:38 Mins
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Bailey brilliance in stunning running strike

Bailey Smith nails yet another electric goal on the burst to add to his impressive highlight reel

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