COLLINGWOOD superstar Brodie Grundy will launch his comeback from a knee injury on the club’s hallowed turf of Victoria Park in the Smithy’s VFL match-of-the-round against Southport on Saturday morning.

Grundy, 28, hasn’t played since injuring his posterior cruciate ligament in the Anzac Day match against Essendon, and the form of Magpie talls Darcy Cameron and Mason Cox in the AFL team’s eight-match winning streak has given coach Craig McRae the luxury of bringing his trump card back in a massive contest that could give Craig Black’s team a huge leg-up in the race for a top-four spot.

He will play his first VFL game since Round 12, 2015, being joined at Victoria Park by key defender Jack Madgen, youngsters Trey Ruscoe and Harvey Harrison and mid-season draft picks Aiden Begg (2021) and Josh Carmichael (2022) against a Sharks team looking to rebound from their first home loss in nearly three years against the Bombers last week.

Southport has regained Jay Lockhart among three changes, but Max Spencer will miss the game.

SMITHY’S VFL TEAMS, ROUND 19, click here

Carlton's Jack Silvagni will try to win his AFL spot back against Williamstown on Saturday. Picture: Getty Images

Fellow top-four contender Carlton has also named a powerful team to take on Williamstown in the Seagulls’ 1150th game at Williamstown Oval.

Dan O’Keefe’s Blues will have AFL omissions Jack Silvagni and Jack Newnes, returning livewire Jack Martin, who has missed the past five weeks with a calf injury, Jack Carroll, Lachie Fogarty and Josh Honey at their disposal, with promoted big man Marc Pittonet going out.

The Seagulls have been hit by injury, losing Liam Hunt, Brayden Monk, Darby Henderson and Liam Conway as four changes to the team that went down to Richmond, with Fin O’Dwyer and Daly Andrews returning alongside Matt Gaul and debutant Tadhg Evans.


Alex Keath was dropped to the Footscray team despite taking 10 marks in the AFL against Melbourne and Jake Melksham last week. Picture: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images via AFL Photos

Footscray has also received a boost with key defender Alex Keath selected to make his VFL debut against Werribee on Saturday after his surprise omission from the AFL team.

Keath, 30, lost his AFL spot to Zaine Cordy and will be joined in the VFL team by Taylor Duryea, who makes his comeback after five weeks out with a knee injury.

The Tigers regain Bior Malual but have lost star midfielder Matt Hanson and suspended key forward Nick Hayes, as well as fellow goalkickers Josh Porter and Jay Dahlhaus.

GWS has included Lachie Keeffe, Jake Riccardi, Tanner Bruhn, Xavier O’Halloran, Kieren Briggs, Zach Sproule and Jake Stein for its must-win Sydney Derby against the Swans, who have named Josh Kennedy for a third straight game and recalled James Bell and Sam Wicks.

Geelong will welcome back Brandan Parfitt from his broken hand to take on Coburg at Ballarat on Sunday, with the Lions having been stung by the loss of Charlie Thompson for the season with an ankle issue.

And Port Melbourne has ruled ruckman Paul Hunter out for the rest of the year after his knee was found to be worse than first thought.

Meanwhile, Richmond midfielder Brad Melville will make his long-awaited comeback from a knee reconstruction when the Tigers take on Brisbane Lions at Swinburne Centre on Sunday.

Melville hurt his knee against Collingwood in Round 13 in his eighth game in his debut season, and has worked his way back into the Tigers' team through strong form at his home club Wangaratta.

Twitter: @BRhodesVFL

Brad Melville will play his first game for Richmond in more than a year after returning from a knee reconstruction. Picture: Graham Denholm/Getty Images via AFL Photos

6.COLLINGWOOD (9-5) v 2.SOUTHPORT (12-3)

Saturday, July 30, 10.35am @ Victoria Park
(, 10.30am)

A. Begg, J. Carmichael, B. Grundy, H. Harrison, J. Madgen, T. Ruscoe
OUT: A. Draper, Z. Molloy, T. Roberts, K. Schreiber, I. Wallace, M. Wetering

IN: R. Clark, M. Doran, J. Lockhart
OUT: R. Davis, J. Foon, M. Spencer

Prediction: Collingwood by 5


Saturday, July 30, 1.05pm @ Casey Fields
(Casey Radio 97.7FM,, 12.45pm;, 1pm)
HEAD-TO-HEAD: Casey 41-20. At Casey Fields: Casey 12-1 (only loss 128-88, August 4, 2012). Streak: Casey 3 (last loss May 14, 2017). Last Time: Casey 11.19 85 def Northern Blues 11.6 72 (Casey Fields, July 6, 2019)

T. Bedford, Joel Smith, Josh Smith, A. Tomlinson, M. White
OUT: J. Bell, G. Grey, J. Hunt, B. Milford, F. Rosman

IN: J. Barling, H. Kennedy, B. Knight, B. Tonkin
OUT: P. Gentile, W. Mitchell, L. Podhajski, T. Wilson
DEBUT: Brodie Tonkin, 20, 176cm, 74kg, Old Melburnians

Prediction: Casey by 90

11.WERRIBEE (8-6) v 13.FOOTSCRAY (6-9)

Saturday, July 30, 2.05pm @ Avalon Airport Oval
(, 2pm)
HEAD-TO-HEAD: Footscray 7-1. At Chirnside Park: Footscray 4-0. Streak: Footscray 5 (only loss April 30, 2016). Last Time: Footscray 13.13 91 def Werribee 11.14 80 (May 18, 2019, Whitten Oval)

IN: M. Brennan, K. Gray, A. Lual, B. Malual, S. Paea
OUT: N. Hayes (suspended), T. Boyd, J. Dahlhaus, M. Hanson, J. Porter

IN: L. Cleary, T. Duryea, A. Keath, L. McNeil
OUT: Z. Cordy (AFL), N. Drummond, A. Hodge, J. Gilbee
DEBUT: Alex Keath, 30, 197cm, 95kg, Adelaide

Prediction: Werribee by 1

20.WILLIAMSTOWN (2-13) v 4.CARLTON (10-5)

Saturday, July 30, 2.05pm @ Williamstown Oval
(, 2pm)
HEAD-TO-HEAD: Carlton 19-8. At Williamstown: Williamstown 5-4. Streak: Carlton 1, 5 out of 6 (last loss April 13, 2002, previous 1896). Last Time: Carlton 14.12 96 def Williamstown 10.14 74 (August 3, 2002, Princes Park)

D. Andrews, T. Evans, M. Gaul, F. O’Dwyer
OUT: L. Conway, D. Henderson, L. Hunt, B. Monk
DEBUT: Tadhg Evans, 18, Lara/Geelong Falcons

IN: J. Carroll, L. Fogarty, J. Honey, J. Martin, J. Newnes, J. Silvagni
OUT: P. Dozzi, M. Lewis, M. Pittonet, O. Sanders, A. Stevens, J. Trudgeon

Prediction: Carlton by 52

5.SYDNEY (9-5) v 10.GWS (8-6-1)

Saturday, July 30, 5.35pm @ SCG
, 5.30pm)
HEAD-TO-HEAD: Sydney 20-15. At SCG: GWS 4-2. Streak: GWS 1 (last loss April 17, 2021). Last Time: GWS 13.15 93 def Sydney 8.7 55 (Olympic Park, June 27, 2021)

IN: J. Bell, S. Wicks
OUT: A. Anderson, W. Collis (omit)

IN: R. Bice, K. Briggs, T. Bruhn, J. Conlan, L. Keeffe, X. O’Halloran, J. Riccardi, Z. Sproule, J. Stein
OUT: L. Aleer, X. Barry-Murphy, A. Edwards, E. Grace, L. Lawrence, M. Miller, S. Quirk, K. Veerhuis, S. Quirk

Prediction: Sydney by 3

9.GOLD COAST (9-6) v 16.PORT MELBOURNE (6-9)

Sunday, July 31, 9.05am @ Metricon Stadium
(, 9am)
HEAD-TO-HEAD: Port Melbourne 1-0. At Carrara: Never Met. Streak: Port Melbourne 1 (never lost). Last Time: Port Melbourne 15.19 109 def Gold Coast 15.7 97 (April 10, 2010, Fankhauser Reserve)

J. Eckersley, S. Flanders, J. Semmler
OUT: M. Andrew, M. Rosas (AFL), L. Johnston (omit)

IN: F. Roberts, N. Stuhldreier
OUT: K. Reid (hamstring), J. Hotchkin (omit)

Prediction: Gold Coast by 18

8.RICHMOND (9-6) v 3.BRISBANE LIONS (10-4)

Sunday, July 31, 11.05am @ Swinburne Centre
(, 11am)
HEAD-TO-HEAD: Richmond 1-0. At Punt Rd: Never Met. Streak: Richmond 1 (never lost). Last Time: Richmond 21.16 142 def Brisbane Lions 12.8 80 (Gabba, May 22, 2021)

M. Colina, B. Melville, H. Ralphsmith, I. Soldo
OUT: S. Ryan (concussion), A. Johnson, J. McGrath, C. Olden (omit)

IN: W. Buzza, J. Payne, T. Triffett
OUT: T. Berry (shoulder), C. Michael (shoulder), E. Smith (managed)

Prediction: Richmond by 7

17.ESSENDON (5-10) v 19.NORTH MELBOURNE (3-11)

Sunday, July 31, 12.05pm @ Windy Hill, 12pm)
HEAD-TO-HEAD: Essendon 22-13-6. At Windy Hill: Essendon 2-1. Streak: North Melbourne 1 (last loss July 13, 2019). Last Time: North Melbourne 12.13 85 def Essendon 11.4 70 (Windy Hill, May 22, 2021)

K. Baldwin, C. Brand, B. Ham, E. Mackinlay
OUT: M. D'Ambrosio, J. Stewart (AFL), P. Pascu (Calder Cannons), J. Harrold (omit)

IN: C. Comben, K. Hayden, H. Murphy, P. Spicer, C. Smith, T. Thomas
OUT: J. Archer, K. Dawson, J. Mahony (AFL), K. Turner, J. Walker (AFL emerg), H. Dick (omit)

Prediction: Essendon by 25

15.GEELONG (6-8) v 18.COBURG (3-11)

Sunday, July 31, 12.35pm @ MARS Stadium, Ballarat (relocated), 12.30pm)
HEAD-TO-HEAD: Geelong 21-6. At MARS Stadium: Never Met. Streak: Gelong 13 (last loss April 18, 2009 – Cob 27.16 178 d Gee 16.8 104). Last Time: Geelong 15.15 105 def Coburg 7.6 48 (Kardinia Park, May 20, 2021)

T. Conway, B. Parfitt, C. Stephens, L. Waddell
OUT: J. Ceglar, M. Chafer, B. Lloyd, D. Weigl

IN: H. Andronaco, L. Bunker, A. Clarke, R. Sturgess, A. Swierzbiolek, J. Watson
OUT: C. Thompson (ankle), S. McLarty (concussion), E. Sibbald (illness), J. Marsh (omit), J. Kemp, D. Thompson

Prediction: Geelong by 28

BYE: Box Hill Hawks, Frankston, Sandringham

Brendan Rhodes’ winners: Last Round: 5. Season: 114/154

All Smithy’s VFL matches in 2022 can be viewed live and free. The VFL Match of the Round will be televised each week on Channel 7, with all other matches livestreamed via and the AFL Live Official App. Radio stations 3WBC and Casey Radio are also broadcasting matches.
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