Matthew Pavlich
Matthew Pavlich

Fremantle captain Matthew Pavlich has been ruled out of the Dockers' side for their blockbuster clash against North Melbourne after failing a late fitness test on Sunday.

Pavlich has endured muscle tightness in both his legs during the week while also suffering a nasty cork in Fremantle's win over Richmond last Saturday, the skipper saying during the week that he was feeling as sore as at any other time during the season.

With those sort of concerns leading into the game, a heavily-strapped Pavlich was put through his paces on Sunday just before official team sheets were lodged, but failed to make the grade and has been replaced by Zac Clarke in a big blow to the veteran's chances of claiming the Coleman Medal.

The withdrawal continues a horror run for Pavlich in Round 22 clashes with the Kangaroos after the skipper suffered a nasty calf injury in the corresponding fixture last season and was forced to watch on as his side's finals chances went up in smoke through a big loss.

This match was meant to be a decider in terms of Fremantle making the finals this year, but Carlton's shock loss to Gold Coast on Saturday night means the Dockers simply need to beat Melbourne in their final-round clash next week to guarantee just their fourth finals appearance.

The change sees Nic Suban assume the green vest as the Dockers' sub while Luke McPharlin will captain the team in Pavlich's absence.

North Melbourne are unchanged, with speedster Matt Campbell named as their sub.


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