Said coach Leon Cameron: “We never planned to play him in any of the JLT Community Series, we thought about playing him for a half in the intraclub, but he didn’t.”
Essendon could feature three new players with Dylan Shiel, big man Zac Clarke and Brandon Zerk-Thatcher all in the running to play their first games for the club. Shiel is poised to join Devon Smith as former Giants to now be plying their wares for Essendon.
Collingwood have picked Roughead at full-back and a likely match-up against Tom Hawkins. As expected, small forward Jamie Elliott will take on the Cats.
But it’s Geelong who’ll have a sharply different look in Friday night’s big clash with the Cats turning to Dahlhaus, Rohan, Charlie Constable, Tom Atkins, Jordan Clark and Gryan Miers.
A host of players will make their debuts in round one. At Hawthorn, all eyes will be on youngster Jack Scrimshaw, who crossed from Gold Coast in the off-season.
Scrimshaw, 20, will debut for the Hawks in Saturday’s tough road trip to Adelaide to take on the Crows.
“It’s a dream come true,” Scrimshaw told the club’s website.
“I’ve obviously been following the Hawks for a long time so to be able to come out and play for them (in) round one is something very special.
“The hard work starts now so hopefully I can cement my spot and then go from there.”
Adelaide have a debutant of their own – Chayce Jones. Crows fans will also be heartened to see star midfielders Rory Sloane, Brad Crouch and Matt Crouch picked in the same 22 once again.
St Kilda’s Jack Steven is still on track to play in round one after being picked in the club’s squad to play Gold Coast at Marvel Stadium on Sunday. Steven has spent time away from the club in the lead-up to the season to deal with mental health issues.
Remarkably, there could be seven players playing their first games for the Suns – Jordan Murdoch, Sam Collins, Jack Hombsch, George Horlin-Smith, Chris Burgess, Anthony Miles and highly-rated draftees Jack Lukosius and Ben King.
West Coast will be without forward Josh Kennedy and Willie Rioli, who were both ruled out on Thursday for Saturday night’s tricky encounter with Brisbane Lions at the Gabba.
The reigning premiers are set to field a noticeably different looking forward line without Kennedy, Rioli, the retired Mark LeCras and Jamie Cripps. The Eagles have picked Jarrod Brander, Oscar Allen and Jake Waterman.
Tom Hickey will also play his first game for West Coast while the Lions have three new players – gun recruit Lachie Neale, Lincoln McCarthy and Jarryd Lyons.
Scott Spits is a sports reporter for The Age