WHO IS a chance to play in round 20?

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 R20 ins and outs. Check it out.

Young forward Josh Rachele is expected to put his hand up after recovering from a hip injury and could be an ideal replacement for injured forward Shane McAdam if he doesn’t recover from a corked quad. At SANFL level, the Crows were happy with midfielder Jackson Hately (33 disposals, eight clearances and six inside 50s), while Lachlan Sholl (23 and a goal) capped a consistent month to push his case. James Rowe kicked a team-high three goals despite moving into the midfield, with first-year onballer Zac Taylor (19 and five clearances) progressing. Defender Josh Worrell was an emergency against Sydney if required, with ruckman Kieran Strachan (29 hitouts and five clearances) keeping pressure on Reilly O'Brien.  

R19 medical substitute: Brayden Cook (replaced Shane McAdam)

Verdict: Rachele, Hately and Sholl for McAdam, McHenry and Milera. – Nathan Schmook

02:04 Mins
Published on

Five-goal Rachele lighting up your telly

Crows debutant Josh Rachele was a shining light in his side's agonising loss with a stunning five-goal performance

Published on

After three weeks of upheaval the Lions get a chance for continuity ahead of Sunday's match against Richmond at the MCG, but will still have at least one forced change following the concussion suffered by Daniel Rich against Gold Coast. Keidean Coleman is expected to return after missing a week with a hamstring strain, which is the perfect like-for-like replacement. Jaxon Prior has had one game back in the VFL from a quad strain and could be considered for a wing role, while Nakia Cockatoo and Deven Robertson could also be in the frame.

R19 medical substitute: Darcy Fort (replaced Daniel Rich)

Verdict: Coleman for Rich. – Michael Whiting

01:22 Mins
Published on

Rich cops knee in brutal blow

Daniel Rich cops a knee to the head from Levi Casboult which sends him off the ground

Published on

Is it time for the Blues to finally pull the trigger on Marc Pittonet? The returning ruckman had 10 disposals and 35 hitouts in his second VFL match back last weekend, strengthening his case for a return against the Crows on Saturday night. Expect a forward – likely Josh Honey – to be at risk of losing their place should Pittonet play. George Hewett (back) will again miss and is deemed a 'week-by-week' proposition, but Matt Owies (calf) is set to return. Young forward Jesse Motlop is the most likely to make way should Owies be available, despite an exciting run in the team. Jack Martin (calf) will face a fitness test later this week, but could make his comeback through the VFL or via the sub role. Caleb Marchbank might need another week in the VFL after winning 18 disposals and five marks in his return from a knee injury. Sam Walsh will be fine to play, despite a rolled ankle.

R19 medical substitute: Jack Newnes (unused)

Verdict: Pittonet and Owies to replace Honey and Motlop. – Riley Beveridge

00:35 Mins
Published on

Blues big man subbed off with knee concern

Carlton ruckman Marc Pittonet comes off the field after this ruck contest with Sean Darcy

Published on

Jordan De Goey is expected to return against Port Adelaide after missing the past three weeks with a quad injury. Collingwood's VFL team didn't play on the weekend, meaning Brodie Grundy is expected to return at Vic Park on Saturday. Ollie Henry, Tyler Brown and Trey Ruscoe were all included in the 26-man squad against Essendon. Henry booted four goals last start in the VFL, while Tyler Brown amassed 34 touches in that game against Port Melbourne. 

R19 medical substitute: Josh Carmichael (replaced Brayden Maynard)

Verdict: Another difficult week at selection after a ninth straight win. De Goey to come in, while Trent Bianco could be squeezed out despite two encouraging games across the past fortnight. Hard to remove Ash Johnson or Josh Carmichael from the 23. Maybe Jack Ginnivan could benefit from a freshen up? After all, he's only 19 years old and in his first full season of senior football. – Josh Gabelich

Jordan De Goey catches his breath for Collingwood against Gold Coast in R16, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

After a three-game winning streak, Essendon's surprise run was ended in a heartbreaking loss to Collingwood on Sunday. Important defender Mason Redman was substituted during the defeat due to internal bruising. The other injury concern was for Ben Hobbs, who seemed to be struggling with the shoulder knock suffered against Gold Coast in round 18. Andrew Phillips (five disposals, one goal and 10 hitouts) was quieter against the Magpies, while Harrison Jones missed a late shot, finishing with a goal from his eight touches. James Stewart booted another four goals in the VFL, Massimo D'Ambrosio had 21 disposals and Archie Perkins made his return from a calf injury with 15 disposals. Jye Menzie gathered 20 touches and kicked a major, while Nick Bryan was dominant in the ruck with 45 hitouts and 18 disposals. The Bombers have decisions to make if injuries force their hand, but they should welcome back Perkins for Sunday's clash against North Melbourne regardless. Stewart has kicked back-to-back bags of four in the VFL, but he would likely replace Jones, the 20-year-old who missed the first half of the season due to injury and should be persisted with.

R19 medical substitute: Brayden Ham (replaced Mason Redman)

Verdict: A lot depends on the severity of Redman's injury and how sore Hobbs is. If both are out, Perkins and D'Ambrosio come in, otherwise only the former, at least for the 22. Also, Bryan to replace Phillips this week. – Dejan Kalinic

02:29 Mins
Published on

VFL Showreel, R18: James Stewart highlights

Enjoy James Stewart's standout VFL performance for the Bombers

Published on

The first change for the Dockers to make is bringing forward/ruck Rory Lobb back after one week out due to injury, boosting their marking power in attack. He will replace injured captain Nat Fyfe. More change is possible, however, with form at the lower level putting pressure on and giving the Dockers options to add some needed spark. Wingman Darcy Tucker had another strong game at WAFL level with an equal team-high 32 disposals, two goals and eight inside 50s. Midfielder Mitch Crowden (32 and eight inside 50s) was also prominent, while half-back Nathan Wilson (28 and nine marks) pushed his case for a second week after being dropped. Nathan O'Driscoll (17 and a goal) was important early in the season and has played two games back from a foot injury. With draftee Neil Erasmus (22 and a goal) and Ethan Hughes (21 and two goals) also performing, there are options for the Dockers. Lloyd Meek (18 and 32 hitouts) allows them to play two genuine rucks if needed.

R19 medical substitute: Travis Colyer (replaced Nat Fyfe)

Verdict: Lobb replaces Fyfe, with Tucker promoted to medical substitute. – Nathan Schmook

Rory Lobb kicks the ball during Fremantle's clash against Sydney in round 18, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Jonathon Ceglar is poised to make his first appearance in the hoops to replace injured ruckman Rhys Stanley. The Cats might also consider Esava Ratugolea for the clash against the Western Bulldogs on Saturday night, with Shannon Neale another option in the ruck. Sam Menegola is set to be available for selection after missing the trip to Adelaide due to concussion. Brandan Parfitt, Nick Stevens and Luke Dahlhaus were all in the 26-man squad against the Power. Tom Stewart to return from suspension after serving a month on the sidelines

R19 medical substitute: Shannon Neale (replaced Rhys Stanley)

Verdict: Ceglar to replace Stanley. Stewart to return. Zach Guthrie to be squeezed out of this side. – Josh Gabelich

00:44 Mins
Published on

Stewart in hot water after Prestia KO'd in this incident

Tom Stewart will face a nervous wait after a high bump knocks out Dion Prestia

Published on

The Suns have copped another blow to their backline with Charlie Ballard (knee) to miss the remainder of the season. Rory Thompson would be an option to come in against West Coast as a key defender, while Jy Farrar could also play on a taller opponent and allow Oleg Markov to move from the medical sub into the backline. Jack Bowes, Brayden Fiorini, Alex Davies and Mal Rosas jnr all did well in the VFL and could come into consideration.

R19 medical substitute: Oleg Markov (replaced Charlie Ballard)

Verdict: Markov for Ballard, Rosas Jnr for Darcy Macpherson. – Michael Whiting

Rory Thompson in action during a Gold Coast training session on December 15, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

The Giants have been battling to settle on a combination for the past month and will make a few more changes this week for the Sydney Derby. Jesse Hogan and Tom Green were both managed last week and should return, while Lachie Whitfield (hip) was close to playing Carlton. Josh Kelly also missed last week with concussion and will be available if he continues to pass his tests.

R19 medical substitute: Jake Stein (unused)

Verdict: Hogan for Zach Sproule, Green for Kieren Briggs, Kelly (if fit) for Callum Brown and Whitfield (if fit) for Tanner Bruhn. – Michael Whiting

00:40 Mins
Published on

Hogan helps himself to fine snap after Ash assist

Jesse Hogan benefits after some fast hands from Lachie Ash

Published on

Hawthorn is hopeful Changkuoth Jiath will be available for selection this week after missing the trip to Hobart due to a knee injury. Daniel Howe pressed his case for another senior chance against the Northern Bullants on Sunday, collecting 31 disposals at Preston City Oval. Tom Phillips returned from Tasmania and found 27 disposals of his own for Box Hill after being the unused medi-sub against North Melbourne. The Hawks have been looking to reward Ned Long at some stage and this could be the week after he finished with 24 touches, while Jai Serong was also strong. 

R19 medical substitute: Tom Phillips (unused)

Verdict: No change unless Jiath proves his fitness. – Josh Gabelich

00:42 Mins
Published on

Jiath joy with first AFL goal

All smiles for Changkuoth Jiath after the impressive defender streams forward for a stunning first goal in the AFL

Published on

The Demons have already ruled out key forward Ben Brown for a second consecutive match due to knee soreness, but defender Jake Lever will return from a shoulder issue for Friday night's trip to face the Dockers. Adam Tomlinson looms as the most likely to be replaced, having only entered the side as a late inclusion for Lever last Saturday night. Kade Chandler pressed his case for a recall with four goals from 16 disposals as Casey kept its undefeated streak in the VFL alive. Could he be named to add some more firepower to the forward line?

R19 medical substitute: Toby Bedford (unused)

Verdict: Lever to replace Tomlinson. – Riley Beveridge

01:19 Mins
Published on

VFL Showreel, R18: Kade Chandler highlights

Enjoy Kade Chandler's standout VFL performance for the Demons

Published on

There's carnage at the Kangaroos, with four players – and the club's interim coach Leigh Adams – testing positive to COVID-19 after returning from Hobart on Sunday. The identity of the players, and their status for Sunday's clash with the Bombers, is not yet known. The side will be forced into at least one change, though, with Flynn Perez suspended due to a rough conduct charge. Nick Larkey will face a fitness test on Thursday to determine his availability after a heel injury, while Tarryn Thomas should be available after missing the last month due to personal reasons. They will both be options to replace Larkey, or anyone unavailable due to COVID-19. Ben Cunnington is a chance to play some VFL minutes after a long stint out of the game due to a testicular cancer diagnosis, while Charlie Comben (leg) and Kyron Hayden (groin) could also make their comebacks through the reserves this weekend.

R19 medical substitute: Charlie Lazzaro (unused)

Verdict: The exact details of the team remain largely unknown due to the club's COVID-19 situation, though Larkey and Thomas could be options to come back into the side. – Riley Beveridge

Nick Larkey celebrates a goal during round 17, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Small forward Orazio Fantasia is ready to play his first AFL game since last year's preliminary final after recovering from a quad injury and booting three goals in the SANFL. Lachie Jones is also available after recovering from a hamstring injury. Riley Bonner was the medi-sub in round 19 and shapes as the likely replacement for injured half-back/wingman Dan Houston (concussion), with Xavier Duursma (19 disposals and eight marks) also pushing his case in the SANFL. If the Power decide to change their ruck structure, mid-season recruit Brynn Teakle has returned in the SANFL and impressed with 23 hitouts and five inside 50s. Sam Hayes (27 hitouts and two goals) is the other option.     

R19 medical substitute: Riley Bonner (replaced Dan Houston)

Verdict: Bonner and Fantasia for Houston and McEntee, with Jones as the medical substitute. – Nathan Schmook

Xavier Duursma in action during round nine, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Tom Lynch (hamstring) should headline Richmond's inclusions this week, which will lead to an interesting decision made around the forward line. Noah Balta could be pushed back to defence, omitting Ben Miller. Young tall Josh Gibcus should also come into calculations, having played in the VFL over the weekend. Riley Collier-Dawkins (33 disposals, six clearances) and Thomson Dow (29 and eight) had strong performances in the VFL. Hugo Ralphsmith has had a few quiet games and could struggle to hold his spot.

R19 medical substitute: Maurice Rioli (replaced Ben Miller)

Verdict: Lynch and Dow for Miller and Ralphsmith, with Short to be moved back to half-back. – Sarah Black

Tom Lynch kicks the ball during Richmond's clash with Carlton in round one, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Injury-ravaged midfielder Dan Hannebery could return for the first time this season after a successful fortnight at VFL level. The three-time All-Australian has had to overcome calf surgery this year, but looks ready to go if called up. Zak Jones was tagged against Port Melbourne but had an impact after being dropped from the senior side. Tom Highmore was impressive down back, finishing with 29 touches and 10 marks at Trevor Barker Oval. Jack Bytel has built up his minutes and is also in contention for a first appearance of 2022. Leo Connolly and Tom Campbell were travelling emergencies in the west. 

R19 medical substitute: Ben Long (replaced Jack Billings)

Verdict: If Billings and Gresham don't get up for Saturday, Hannebery and Jones could both return. – Josh Gabelich

00:56 Mins
Published on

VFL Showreel, R17: Dan Hannebery highlights

Enjoy Dan Hannebery's standout VFL performance for the Zebras

Published on

The Swans are rolling and with no injury concerns from the win over Adelaide it would be difficult for John Longmire to change his team ahead of playing Greater Western Sydney. Veteran Josh Kennedy has now played two matches back in the VFL following his serious hamstring injury and racked up another 36 disposals at the weekend. Harry Cunningham, Braeden Campbell and Hayden McLean all impressed at the lower level.

R19 medical substitute: Sam Wicks (unused)

Verdict: Unchanged. – Michael Whiting

01:32 Mins
Published on

VFL Showreel, R18: Josh Kennedy highlights

Enjoy Josh Kennedy's standout VFL performance for the Swans

Published on

Premiership forward Willie Rioli has returned to training and will be back if he gets through training after a period of personal leave following the passing of his father. The Eagles should also be boosted by the return of premiership midfielder Elliot Yeo (hamstring), who will likely slot into a half-back role, while star ruckman Nic Naitanui (knee soreness) and speedster Jack Petruccelle (hamstring) are expected to put their hands up. Midfielder Connor West is an option to be promoted from the role of medical substitute if Tim Kelly is hampered by a corked quad. In the WAFL, Samo Petrevski-Seton (20 disposals and four marks) is pushing to return to a running defender role, while Greg Clark (20 and nine tackles) is a midfield option. Positive games at AFL level from ruckman Bailey Williams and Josh Rotham could convince the match committee to be conservative with Naitanui and ensure he is primed to face Adelaide at home in round 21.      

R19 medical substitute: Connor West (unused)  

Verdict: Yeo, Rioli and West for Alex Witherden, Luke Foley and Brady Hough, with Petrevski-Seton as medical substitute. – Nathan Schmook

Elliot Yeo in action during the round 14 clash between West Coast and Geelong at Optus Stadium on June 18, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

The Dogs look likely to regain Caleb Daniel for this week's clash with Geelong while Taylor Duryea is also a chance to come in. It will be tight for spots given the Dogs' impressive win over the Demons last week. Josh Bruce has been quiet since he returned to the senior side but his presence was important in helping Jamarra Ugle-Hagan have his breakout game. Adam Treloar will have to pass a fitness test after having calf tightness last week.

Round 19 medical substitute: Robbie McComb (replaced Adam Treloar)

Verdict: If Treloar is available, Lachie McNeil may be the unlucky player to miss with Daniel to return. – Callum Twomey

Adam Treloar looks on after being subbed from the match in the round 19 game between the Western Bulldogs and Melbourne at Marvel Stadium on July 23, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos