Swans axe McDonald for AFL grand final

·2-min read

Sydney coach John Longmire says he agonised on the tough call to axe young forward Logan McDonald for the AFL grand final against Geelong.

Longmire has cleared stalwart Sam Reid and winger Justin McInerney to play in the premiership decider after proving their fitness at Thursday training.

The Cats included Max Holmes in their unchanged team despite the winger battling a hamstring injury.

But the Swans dumped 20-year-old McDonald, who has kicked just one goal from 10 disposals in his side's two finals victories en route to the MCG finale.

Longmire recalled tall attacker Hayden McLean, who hasn't featured in AFL ranks since round eight.

"It's tough for Logan," Longmire said.

"It's tough to go out of the team at any time but particularly for a grand final.

"We just felt with Hayden McLean coming into the team ... we made the decision."

Longmire said 30-year-old Reid, who has been battling a groin injury, and McInernery, who rolled an ankle in the preliminary final, trained impressively on Thursday.

"McInerney and Sam Reid got through it pretty well so we expect them to be ready to play on Saturday," he said.

If Reid fails to play, McDonald could earn a reprieve with the West Australian named as an emergency along with Braeden Campbell, Harry Cunningham and Will Gould.

Geelong's 20-year-old Holmes could face a late fitness test to determine if he plays.

Holmes was substituted out of the preliminary final belting of Brisbane because of a hamstring injury.

But the Cats included Holmes, who has cemented his spot this season, playing 18 games, in their grand final team released on Thursday night.

Geelong named Brandan Parfitt, Mark O'Connor, Sam Menegola and Jonathon Ceglar as emergencies.

The Cats enter the decider on a 15-match winning streak and finished top of the ladder after the home-and-away fixtures.

"They finished two games (wins) clear at the end of the home-and-away season and had a great win last week so they are clearly a very strong team," Longmire said of the Cats.

"They have been fantastic this year but we look forward to that challenge.

"It is a big game and we just have to make sure we back in what we do.

Longmire's Swans have won their past nine games.