Bombers skipper back to face Swans in AFL

Jason Phelan and Rob Forsaith
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AFL BOMBERS TRAINING

Essendon captain Dyson Heppell (centre) has shrugged of fitness concerns to play the Swans

Essendon's Dyson Heppell has thrown off lingering doubts about his fitness, the skipper training strongly to confirm his place in the line-up to face Sydney at the SCG on Sunday.

Heppell was dogged by a foot stress fracture last year that required surgery then continued to hamper his preparation for the 2020 season, keeping him out of the Bombers tight round-one win over Fremantle.

But the club reported he trained well on Friday and was included with Cale Hooker and Shaun McKernan.

Orazio Fantasia (quad), Brandon Zerk-Thatcher (suspension) and Jayden Laverde (omitted) depart the side.

The Swans brought in Callum Sinclair and George Hewett for Ben Ronke (omitted) and Sam Naismith (injured).

Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge made good on his promise to swing the axe at selection three months after his side's disappointing season-opening loss to Collingwood.

Easton Wood (quad) and Lachie Hunter (suspension) couldn't be considered for Sunday's clash with St Kilda at Marvel Stadium, but Ben Cavarra, Lewis Young and Zaine Cordy were all dropped.

Billy Gowers, Ed Richards, Laitham Vandermeer - who will debut - Lin Jong and Patrick Lipinski are the inclusions.

GWS recalled fit-again stars Callan Ward and Zac Williams plus young midfielder Jye Caldwell for Sunday's clash with North Melbourne at Giants Stadium.

The Giants made three changes to the side that banked an impressive 32-point win over Geelong in round one, when Ward (knee) and Williams (Achilles tendon) were both unavailable.

Former co-captain Ward hasn't played since rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in round four of the 2019 season, while it will be Williams' first game since the 2019 grand final.

Small forward Zac Langdon and last year's No.10 draft pick Tom Green have been dropped, while hamstrung foundation Giant Adam Kennedy was an enforced omission.

The Kangaroos made three changes, with Bailey Scott, Kyron Hayden and Mason Wood coming into the team that scored a come-from-behind win over St Kilda in round one.