The mouthwatering showdown between star GWS defender Sam Taylor and St Kilda spearhead Max King is one giant step closer to going ahead, but it’s not over the line just yet.
King (rested) and Taylor (hamstring) were among the big guns recalled for Saturday’s elimination final at the MCG.
Taylor easily made it through training on Thursday, but GWS coach Adam Kingsley said the 24-year-old still has one more box to tick.
“He’s looking good. He’s got to wake up without any issues whatsoever and if that’s the case then it’s more likely we’ll play him than not,” Kingsley said.
“If he’s fit and good to go and the doctors advise there’s little or minimal risk, then he’ll play. But he’s got to wake up without any issues.”
The Giants also recalled Finn Callaghan, with Ryan Angwin and Toby McMullin squeezed out.
Along with King, St Kilda were boosted by the return of midfielder Seb Ross (hamstring).
Jack Hayes goes out injured, while Liam Stocker was dropped.
Ross has spent the past fortnight on the sidelines with a hamstring injury, but he is being backed to make an impact in September.
“It’s a big decision – off injury, recurrence, a big final,” St Kilda coach Ross Lyon said before the team was unveiled.
“He’s a leader. I will be guided by him, what he says to us. Once you declare yourself, you have to get it done.”
Lyon made a big selection call by sticking with recruit Zaine Cordy instead of fit-again defender Dougal Howard, who has recovered from a fractured wrist.
Carlton were given a big double boost with the return of skipper Patrick Cripps and Sam Docherty for Friday night’s elimination final against Sydney at the MCG.
Ruckman Marc Pittonet was also included despite the forecast rain, while Blake Acres retains his spot after overcoming a collarbone injury.
Zac Fisher, Ollie Hollands, Paddy Dow and Corey Durdin were all omitted.
Sydney pulled a shock by selecting Lewis Melican for the first time since he injured his hamstring in round 18, while Tom Papley and Justin McInerney are also back.
Out go axed trio Robbie Fox, Dylan Stephens and Ryan Clarke.
The decision to drop Fox and Clarke came as a surprise given they have been locks in the side this year.
Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley has been saved from making a tough selection call after captain Tom Jonas was ruled out of Saturday night’s qualifying final against Brisbane at the Gabba due to injury.
Jonas injured his calf at training on Thursday, meaning there was no need to axe him in order to make room for fit-again defender Trent McKenzie.
McKenzie, who hasn’t played since suffering a knee injury on August 5, Todd Marshall (hip) and ruckman Scott.Lycett (knee) were all given the green light to play.
Former skipper Travis Boak has been named as the tactical sub, while Sam Hayes was dropped.
Brisbane recalled Lincoln McCarthy and dropped Jarryd Lyons.