Lions wield axe as Dees overlook McDonald

·2-min read

Brisbane have dropped hard nuts Mitch Robinson and Rhys Mathieson while Melbourne forward Tom McDonald was again overlooked for Friday night's semi-final at the MCG.

The Lions welcomed back Noah Answerth and Cam Rayner from suspension among four changes, while Darcy Fort has replaced ruckman Oscar McInerney (concussion).

Jaxon Prior, Robinson, and Mathieson were all dropped, but last week's substitute Callum Ah Chee earned a promotion into the 22.

Melbourne have named an unchanged side, meaning star midfielder Christian Petracca will play despite a heavy cork on his calf and a hairline fracture in his leg.

Forwards Bailey Fritsch (knee) and Charlie Spargo (throat) also enter the match under injury clouds.

Demons coach Simon Goodwin again opted against recalling fit-again forward McDonald, who missed most of the season with a serious foot injury.

"Tom's certainly someone that's progressing really well, as is Jacob van Rooyen, both guys are really pressing their claims for selection," Goodwin said before the teams were released.

"He (McDonald) had four weeks back at main training, he's played one full game of VFL, had match simulation last weekend and the decision needs to be made is that enough to prepare yourself for a big final.

"If he doesn't play this week, he will be right to go if we're fortunate enough to progress through."

Collingwood made just the one change for Saturday night's semi-final against Fremantle at the MCG, replacing injured midfielder Taylor Adams (groin) with 21-year-old Trent Bianco.

Star forward Jordan De Goey was named despite suffering a shoulder injury in last week's six-point qualifying final loss to Geelong.

All-Australian defender Darcy Moore will also play despite leaving training for a period on Thursday after copping a knock to his knee.

Fremantle have gone in with an unchanged side, meaning forward Matt Taberner misses out for a second straight final.

Taberner, who returned from a calf injury in the WAFL last week, will again play for Peel Thunder.

Two-game forward Jye Amiss held his place in the Dockers' side ahead of Taberner, while skipper Nat Fyfe will miss at least one more week with a hamstring injury.

Collingwood coach Craig McRae opted against selecting Oliver Henry, who booted four goals when the Magpies beat Fremantle by 36 points in round 10.

Last week's substitute Nathan Kreuger also missed out on a berth, but the versatile 196cm swingman could be handed the sub role again.

"I've openly said this before, I think Kreuger gives us something different," McRae said.

"But what cost is that to the team (if he's in the 22)? Do we play three talls - we haven't done it for the whole year."