Round 1 team tips, squads, predictions, ins and outs, injuries, players dropped, SuperCoach, latest news

Those that played in Opening Round already need to call in the reinforcements after injury setbacks or changes otherwise.

Meanwhile we’ll see 10 clubs line-ups for the first time in 2024.

Get the latest selection and injury news ahead of Round 1 in AFL Team Tips!

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‘They choked’ – Robbo torches Lions | 00:56



Thursday March 14, 7.30pm at the MCG

Blues’ Opening Round side

B: B.Kemp, L.Young, A.Saad

HB: Z.Williams, M.McGovern, N.Newman

C: B.Acres, P.Cripps – C, M.Kennedy

HF: G.Hewett, C.Curnow, M.Owies

F: O.Fantasia, H.McKay, D.Cuningham

FOLL: T.De Koning, A.Cerra, S.Docherty

I/C: J.Boyd, O.Hollands, M.Cottrell, J.Carroll, L.Fogarty

EMG: J.Binns, A.Cincotta, M.Pittonet

Team Tips: After what some have called Michael Voss’ best win as Blues coach, it’s hard to see too many changes from the side that pulled off a shock comeback win over Brisbane from being 46 points down. One unfortunate forced omission, however, is Sam Docherty after the beloved Blue suffered a devastating third ACL injury as well as a meniscus tear. Jack Carroll was mighty impressive upon coming on as the sub for Docherty in the second half, so you’d think he’d come straight into the 22 and the likes of Alex Cincotta, Jaxon Binns or Ashton Moir fight it out for the sub vest. Orazio Fantasia and Matt Owies were both quiet against the Lions, while Corey Durdin is available and Jesse Motlop could be too. Bt you sense Voss will stick with the same forward half mix – and 23 at large – and they give Motlop at least another week off.

Tigers’ Opening Round side

B: D.Grimes, T.Young, J.Gibcus

HB: J.Short – C, D.Rioli, N.Vlastuin

C: K.McIntosh, T.Taranto, S.Banks

HF: M.Rioli, L.Baker, S.Campbell

F: N.Balta, S.Bolton, J.Koschitzke

FOLL: S.Naismith, J.Hopper, D.Prestia

I/C: N.Broad, T.Dow, J.Ross, M.Pickett, S.Ryan

EMG: T.Brown, S.Green, N.Cumberland

Team Tips: The Tigers could be set for three huge boosts on Thursday night, with Dustin Martin, Tom Lynch and Toby Nankervis all in the mix to return from injury. Martin feels like a certainty to come in, while the others might be touch and go. Samson Ryan appears most vulnerable at selection after getting subbed out against the Suns, which would leave Nankervis to share the ruckload with Sam Naismith — likely Adem Yze’s preferred pairing. Jascob Koschitzke also underwhelmed in his first game in yellow and black as the most obvious exclusion for Lynch, while one of Maurice Rioli or Thomson Dow probably make way for Martin. Could one of Steely Green or Noah Cumberland push into the mix too? A bit for Yze to ponder after his side fell in reasonably convincing fashion to the Suns, at least when the game was hot, despite a commendable fightback.

‘The Giants talls influenced the game’ | 07:13


Friday March 15, 7.40pm at the MCG

Magpies’ Opening Round side

B: B.Maynard, D.Moore – C, C.Dean

HB: S.Pendlebury, I.Quaynor, N.Daicos

C: W.Hoskin-Elliott, J.Crisp, J.Daicos

HF: S.Sidebottom, A.Johnson, B.Mihocek

F: P.Lipinski, J.Elliott, B.Hill

FOLL: D.Cameron, J.De Goey, L.Schultz

I/C: J.Noble, T.Mitchell, B.McCreery, O.Markov, M.Cox

EMG: B.Frampton, F.Macrae, H.Harrison

Team Tips: The reigning premiers were dealt a reality check by the Giants, leaving several selection questions in the process. It’s just a matter of how much they react to a loss only a game into their flag defence — and to a very good and hungry side. Craig McRae will hope his backline — that looked the most vulnerable in just about his entire tenure as Magpies coach — is boosted by the return of Jeremy Howe (calf). While debutant Charlie Dean might be the most obvious one who to come out, the Pies could persevere with the mature-aged defender and instead omit John Noble or Oleg Markov and play Dean and Howe together. Adding to this is the potential need for extra size against Sydney’s tall forward line, which also puts Billy Frampton in the selection frame. And could Reef McIness or Fin Macrae get a look in? The Pies’ forward line failed to capitalise on its opportunities, while the midfield at times looked slow and in need of a spark. Again, it’s only one game in, so don’t expect wholesale changes.

Swans’ Opening Round side

B: L.Melican, T.McCartin, D.Rampe

HB: N.Blakey, O.Florent, J.Lloyd

C: J.McInerney, Ch. Warner, E.Gulden

HF: I.Heeney, L.McDonald, J.Amartey

F: T.Papley, H.McLean, W.Hayward

FOLL: B.Grundy, J.Jordon, J.Rowbottom

I/C: B.Campbell, M.Roberts, H.Cunningham, S.Wicks, R.Fox

EMG: A.Sheldrick, P.Ladhams, Co. Warner

Team Tips: The Swans kicked off their season with a bang after racing away from Melbourne in the second half. Outside of the absence of injured midfield trio Taylor Adams, Callum Mills and Luke Parker, who’ll all remain out for the first few weeks of the season, Sydney is at full strength and would seem hard pressed to make changes to its mix. It was a curious call leaving out Angus Sheldrick last week given the Swans’ midfield is so undermanned. While Sheldrick could come in as the sub, Sam Wicks provided a sparkplug in attack upon coming in including kicking a goal, and seems more suited to the role.

Reid to debut for West Coast | 01:26


Saturday March 16, 1.45pm at the MCG

Bombers’ AAMI Community Series side

B: Ridley, McKay, Reid

HB: Redman, Laverde, McGrath

C: Durham, Parish, Martin

HF: Caldwell, Langford, Gresham

F: Stringer, Wright, Perkins

FOL: Goldstein, Setterfield, Merrett

INT: Tsatas, Cox, Hind, Jones, Bryan, Duursma, Guelfi, Menzie

EMG: Weideman, Hayes, A.Davey Jnr, Roberts

Team Tips: The Bombers will be without Jordan Ridley after he injured his quad against Geelong in the pre-season, but the good news is it’s not a significant strain and he should be back before the opening month is out. It puts greater responsibility on former Pick 10 Zach Reid, who figures to play a bigger role in the Essendon defence in 2024. It looks like Darcy Parish will miss after having hamstring awareness at training. Dylan Shiel will be line ball as he nears a return from a foot injury. Sam Draper was on managed minutes against the Cats in the VFL and will keep building his minutes. Jake Kelly and Ben Hobbs are both tracking towards being available, while Nate Caddy is integrating back into main training. A lot of moving parts even without really knowing Brad Scott’s preferred mix for 2024 after a busy off-season of list changes.

Hawks’ AAMI Community Series side

FB: Jarman Impey, Sam Frost, Ethan Phillips

HB: Jack Scrimshaw, James Sicily, Massimo D’Ambrosio

C: Karl Amon, James Worpel, Connor Macdonald

HF: Nick Watson, Mitch Lewis, Luke Breust

F: Jack Ginnivan, Mabior Chol, Finn Maginness

R: Ned Reeves, Henry Hustwaite, Cam Mackenzie

INT from: Jai Newcombe, Bodie Ryan, Max Ramsden, Lloyd Meek, Josh Ward, Blake Hardwick, Conor Nash, Sam Butler

Emer: Clay Tucker, Josh Bennetts, Jai Serong, Calsher Dear

Team Tips: Their injury list is considerable including being without key defenders Denver Grainger-Barras (toe, 10-12 weeks) and James Blank (ACL, season), which could open the door for VFL recruit Ethan Phillips to get a look in. The Hawks say Dylan Moore will be available for Round 1, having overcome glandular fever. Meanwhile Will Day’s foot injury should open up more midfield opportunities for the likes of Cam Mackenzie and Josh Ward to start the season.Elsewhere, recruits Jack Ginnivan, Marbior Chol and the returning Jack Gunston, who along with Josh Weddle and Harry Morrison, were managed in the AAMI Community Series, should all face the Bombers as well as draftee Nick Watson.

Robinson weighs in on Sheedy accusations | 00:41


Saturday March 16, 4.35pm at ENGIE Stadium

Giants’ Opening Round side

B: H.Himmelberg, S.Taylor, C.Idun

HB: L.Whitfield, J.Buckley, L.Ash

C: X.O’Halloran, J.Kelly, J.Wehr

HF: B.Daniels, J.Riccardi, T.Bedford

F: T.Greene – C, J.Hogan, C.Brown

FOLL: K.Briggs, S.Coniglio, T.Green

I/C: C.Ward, H.Thomas, N.Haynes, T.McMullin, A.Cadman

EMG: L.Keeffe, R.Angwin, J.Peatling

Team Tips: Callan Ward is set for an extended period on the sidelines after what looked to be an AC joint injury following a tackle from Beau McCreery. Finn Callaghan and Harry Perryman are both looking good, even though the former stepped on a nail at the beach last week! Isaac Cumming may be back after the Round 3 bye. If Adam Kingsley does have close to his full complement of players available, good luck making further changes beyond Ward’s forced omission to a side that demolished the reining premiers in Opening Round!

Kangaroos’ AAMI Community Series side

B: Colby McKercher, Toby Pink, Kallan Dawson

HB: Josh Goater, Bigoa Nyuon, Harry Sheezel

C: Will Phillips, Tom Powell, Dylan Stephens

HF: Zane Duursma, Callum Coleman-Jones, Jaidyn Stephenson

F: Cam Zurhaar, Nick Larkey, Charlie Lazzaro

Foll: Tristan Xerri, Luke Davies-Uniacke, Jy Simpkin

I/C: George Wardlaw, Paul Curtis, Bailey Scott, Riley Hardeman, Darcy Tucker, Hugh Greenwood, Cooper Harvey, Zac Fisher

Emerg: Liam Shiels, Robert Hansen jnr, Miller Bergman, Blake Drury

Team Tips: The Roos will line-up vastly different to when we last saw them in 2023, with several fresh faces to be unveiled. We’re tipping top draftees Colby McKercher and Zane Duursma plus recruits Zac Fisher, Dylan Stephens,Toby Pink andBigoa Nyuon to all play their first game for the club.Co-captain Jy Simpkin will unfortunately miss Round 1 after the brutal hit he copped from Jimmy Webster, however fellow skipper Luke McDonald, Aidan Corr and Curtis Taylor, who’ve all had disrupted pre-seasons, should be ready to go. How quickly a new-look midfield led by the likes of Tristan Xerri, Luke Davies-Uniacke, George Wardlaw, Tom Powell and Will Phillips can develop together will be key for the Roos in 2024.

Chris Scott takes aim at Opening Round | 01:19


Saturday March 16, 7.30pm at GHMHBA Stadium

Cats’ AAMI Community Series side

B: Mark O’Connor, Sam De Koning, Jake Kolodjashnij

HB: Jack Henry, Tom Stewart, Jed Bews

C: Mark Blicavs, Max Holmes, Mitch Duncan

HF: Tyson Stengle, Brad Close, Jeremy Cameron

F: Tom Hawkins, Gryan Miers, Shannon Neale

FOL: Rhys Stanley, Patrick Dangerfield, Tom Atkins

I/C: Zach Guthrie, Tanner Bruhn, Jhye Clark, Oisin Mullin, Zach Tuohy, Oliver Dempsey, Shaun Mannagh, Jack Bowes

EMG: Toby Conway, Mitch Knevitt, Connor O’Sullivan, Brandan Parfitt

Team Tips: In a stark contrast to last year, injuries aren’t too big a concern for the Cats. Gary Rohan has reportedly had a hamstring setback linked to his back issues, while Cam Guthrie will miss an extended period with a quad injury. Other than that, it is a relatively clean bill of health for the Cats. Geelong’s back six seems relatively settled, but it’s midfield will be a curious watch. Does Chris Scott debut Jhye Clark and give Tanner Bruhn full reign on the ball? Brandan Parfitt was curiously an emergency in the AAMI Community Series, but whether he’s on the outer or the Cats are being their usual discreet selves is an unknown. Speaking of debutants, matured-age VFL pick-up Shaun Mannagh should also come into the mix, while Oliver Dempsey seems poised to get more opportunities up forward.

Saints’ AAMI Community Series side

B: Jimmy Webster, Dougal Howard, Callum Wilkie

HB: Liam Stocker, Riley Bonner, Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera

C: Mason Wood, Jack Steele, Brad Hill

HF: Darcy Wilson, Liam Henry, Mitch Owens

F: Jack Higgins, Max King, Tim Membrey

Foll: Rowan Marshall, Mattaes Phillipou, Seb Ross

I/C: Lance Collard, Ryan Byrnes, Zaine Cordy, Arie Schoenmaker, Hugo Garcia, Tom Campbell, Cooper Sharman, Anthony Caminiti

Emerg: Isaac Keeler, Matt Allison, Olli Hotton, Angus McLennan

Team Tips: It’s gone under the radar in some ways, but the Saints have a host of players in their best 23 unavailable to start the season amid widespread injuries. That includes Dan Butler, Dougal Howard and Hunter Clark and potentially Jack Sinclair and Marcus Windhager Meanwhile Jimmy Webster will sit the first seven weeks of the season due to suspension for his hit on Jy Simpkin and recruit Paddy Dow will also miss the start of the season. Despite missing their AAMI Community Series game, Brad Crouch is expected to line-up against the Cats. With so many key members of the back six out, Riley Bonner should get instant opportunities, while Zaine Cordy probably edges out draftee Arie Schoenmaker for Howard’s key defensive post. Liam Henry will play his first game for the club and top draftee Darcy Wilson also feels like a lock.

Full Cox debacle REVEALED in new footage | 01:15


Saturday March 16, 8.10pm at People First Stadium

Suns’ Opening Round side

B: B.Uwland, C.Ballard, S.Collins

HB: C.Budarick, A.Sexton, W.Powell

C: B.Fiorini, T.Miller, B.Ellis

HF: B.Ainsworth, B.Humphrey, T.Berry

F: B.King, M.Rosas, L.Casboult

FOLL: J.Witts – C, N.Anderson, M.Rowell

I/C: S.Flanders, N.Holman, J.Lukosius, D.Swallow, D.Macpherson

EMG: R.Atkins, W.Graham, N.Moyle

Team Tips: The Suns won’t make too many changes from the side that thumped Richmond. Going into the game, Damien Hardwick’s best 23 felt reasonably settled, plus their injury list is relatively short too. Expect an unchanged line-up against the Crows.

Crows’ AAMI Community Series side

B: Josh Worrell, Jordon Butts, Max Michalanney

HB: Brodie Smith, James Borlase, Mitch Hinge

C: Chayce Jones, Jordan Dawson, Lachlan Sholl

HF: Ben Keays, Josh Rachele, Izak Rankine

F: Riley Thilthorpe, Taylor Walker, Darcy Fogarty

FOL: Reilly O’Brien, Rory Laird, Sam Berry

INT: Luke Pedlar, Lachlan Murphy, Wayne Milera, Jake Soligo, Matt Crouch, Ned McHenry, Will Hamill, Chris Burgess

EMG: Kieran Strachan, Brayden Cook, Luke Nankervis, Lachlan Gollant

Team Tips: The Crows took a full-strength team into the AAMI Community Series game, so not a lot changes from the above side other than trimming the extended bench. The only blow to come out of it was a knee setback to Riley Thilthorpe, who’ll be sidelined for a big chunk of the season. It gives recruit Chris Burgess a big opportunity to fill the void as a key forward/backup ruck. Mark Keane also missed the pre-season hitout due to concussion, but his spot in the side isn’t guaranteed. On the topic of defenders, top draftee Daniel Curtin will likely start the year outside the senior side despite some suggestions he’d get instant opportunities amid the club’s injury-hit backline. And after falling out of favour last year, Sam Berry has probably fought his way back into the best 23 after an impressive pre-season hitout.

Blues coming to terms with Docherty loss | 02:02


Sunday March 17, 1:00pm at the MCG

Demons’ Opening Round side

B: B.Howes, S.May, J.Lever

HB: J.McVee, A.Tomlinson, C.Salem

C: E.Langdon, C.Petracca, T.Rivers

HF: J.Viney, J.Schache, J.van Rooyen

F: A.Neal-Bullen, B.Fritsch, C.Spargo

FOLL: M.Gawn, T.Sparrow, C.Oliver

I/C: C.Windsor, J.Billings, B.Laurie, J.Bowey, K.Chandler

EMG: T.McDonald, T.Fullarton, T.Woewodin

Team Tips: Kysaiah Pickett is a certainly to return and give Melbourne’s front six a boost after falling to Sydney in Opening Round. The only forced change is Jake Bowey after he broke his collarbone, though the Dees don’t necessarily need to replace him with a defender given Christian Salem has been used more in the midfield. If they did want a defensive reinforcement, Marty Hore, who returned to the club after a VFL stint, could come into the mix. Melbourne could also welcome Harrison Petty back from a toe injury in another potential boost up forward, which would likely come at the expense of Bailey Laurie or Josh Schache. Tom McDonald or Tom Fullarton could also be in the frame.

Bulldogs AAMI Community Series side

B: Lachie Bramble, Liam Jones, Nick Coffield

HB: Ed Richards, Buku Khamis, Jason Johannisen

C: Bailey Williams, Tom Liberatore, Harvey Gallagher

HF: Lachie McNeil, Rory Lobb, Cody Weightman

F: Rhylee West, Aaron Naughton, Jamarra Ugle-Hagan

FOLL: Tim English, Marcus Bontempelli, Adam Treloar

INT: Taylor Duryea, Laitham Vandermeer, James Harmes, Ryley Sanders, Caleb Daniel, Luke Cleary, Sam Darcy, Oskar Baker

EMG: Caleb Poulter, Anthony Scott, Charlie Clarke, Arty Jones

Team Tips: A few Dogs will be pushing to return from injury including Jack Macrae, Bailey Dale, Alex Keath andJames O’Donnell. It comes with a host of new faces at the club to add intrigue to selection, where you wouldn’t put it past Luke Beveridge making a statement and leaving out one of his senior players after a disappointing 2023 season. Recruits Nick Coffield and James Harmes as well as draftee Ryley Sanders all feel like pretty sure things to play their first game in red while and blue. And will Sam Darcy finally entrench himself in Beveridge’s side after an injury interrupted start to his career? Might be a few surprises.

Cox apologises for pre-game collision | 00:25


Sunday March 17, 4pm at Adelaide Oval

Power’s AAMI Community Series side

B: R Burton 3, B Zerk-Thatcher 25, E Ratugolea 27

HB: L Jones 34, A Aliir 21, D Houston 5

C: M Bergman 14, W Drew 28, K Farrell 6

HF: J McEntee 41, T Marshall 4, C Rozee 1-C

F: Z Butters 9, C Dixon 22, W Rioli 15

Foll: I Soldo 13, O Wines 16, J Horne-Francis 18

I/C: J Burgoyne 7, T Boak, D Williams 23, J Sweet 24, O Lord 30, F Evans 31, D Byrne-Jones 33, J Mead 44

Emergencies: J Finlayson 11, T McKenzie 12, T Clurey 17, M Georgiades 19

Team Tips: Zak Butters will play despite his ankle concern suffered in the pre-season. It means, despite Port having a few others on its injury list including Ollie Lord, who mightn’t have made the 23, the club will go into Round 1 with a full-strength team. Recruits Esava Ratugolea and Brandon Zerk-Thtacher bolster Ken Hinkley’s defence and pushes Trent McKenzie to the outer. Ivan Soldo looks to have won the No. 1 ruck spot over fellow recruit Jordon Sweet, while Ollie Wines is set to return to a full-time midfield role. Competition for spots up forward are on, with Mitch Georgaides and Jeremy Finlayson missing out on selection in the AAMI Community Series game, though Georgiades might’ve been managed in his return from an ACL injury.

Eagles’ AAMI Community Series side

B: Alex Witherden, Tom Barrass, Tom Cole

HB: Liam Duggan, Jeremy McGovern, Brady Hough

C: Jayden Hunt, Elliot Yeo, Andrew Gaff

HF: Noah Long, Jake Waterman, Jamie Cripps

F: Jack Petruccelle, Jack Darling, Ryan Maric

FOL: Bailey Williams, Tim Kelly, Harley Reid

INT: Luke Edwards, Campbell Chesser, Harry Barnett, Jamaine Jones, Loch Rawlinson, Coen Livingstone, Callum Jamieson, Tyrell Dewar

EMG: Harvey Johnston, Jack Williams, Jordyn Baker, Coby Burgiel

Team Tips: No. 1 draft pick Harley Reid is set to be unleashed for his debut in a new era at the rebuilding Eagles. Reid is expected to play across half back and in the midfield, where it’ll largely be Elliot Yeo and Tim Kelly supporting the youngsters. Reid will probably be the only West Coast debutant, with the rest of their side relatively settled outside of the edges. The Eagles have unfortunately been decimated by injury over the pre-season including interrupted summers to the likes of Tyler Brockman and Reuben Ginbey, who’ll push for Round 1, as well as Matthew Flynn, Elijah Hewett, Liam Ryan and Dom Sheed, with more significant issues. The uncertainty around the players sidelined leaves a bit up in the air still.

Dimma’s Suns survive Tigers’ resurgence | 02:05


Sunday March 17, 6.50pm at Optus Stadium

Dockers’ AAMI Community Series side

B: Oscar McDonald, Alex Pearce, Jordan Clark

HB: James Aish, Luke Ryan, Ethan Hughes

C: Matthew Johnson, Andrew Brayshaw, Jeremy Sharp

HF: Michael Walters, Sam Sturt, Pat Voss

F: Sam Switkowski, Matt Taberner, Josh Treacy

R/Fol: Sean Darcy, Nat Fyfe, Caleb Serong

I: Cooper Simpson, Hayden Young, Jaeger O’Meara, Karl Worner, Liam Reidy, Bailey Banfield, Joshua Draper, Neil Erasmus

E: Will Brodie, Brandon Walker, Corey Wagner, Jye Amiss

Team Tips: Luke Jackson will ruck solo to start the season after Sean Darcy’s knee setback in a big blow to Justin Longmuir’s team. Jackson will be rucking to an altered midfield mix, with Hayden Young to play on the ball permanently and Nat Fyfe to return to the position he won two Brownlow Medals in. Heath Chapman will also start the season on the sidelines, while Brennan Cox and Michael Frederick should be available. The injuries could give opportunities to mature-aged pick-ups Oscar McDonald and Jeremy Sharp early in the season, while Neil Erasmus will push for a regular gig this year too.

Lions’ Opening Round side

B: B.Starcevich, J.Payne, R.Lester

HB: K.Coleman, H.Andrews – C, D.Gardiner

C: J.Fletcher, Z.Bailey, J.Berry

HF: C.Cameron, E.Hipwood, H.McCluggage

F: C.Rayner, J.Daniher, D.Zorko

FOLL: O.McInerney, J.Dunkley, L.Neale

I/C: K.Lohmann, C.Ah Chee, L.McCarthy, J.Lyons, D.Wilmot

EMG: J.Tunstill, D.Fort, N.Answerth

Team Tips: The Lions will be without Keidean Coleman for the season after his ACL injury in the second quarter. They will get some relief in Conor McKenna, who will be available against Fremantle in a like-for-like swap. Tom Doedee is a bit further away but making very good progress and pushing to be back within the month. Meanwhile Kai Lohmann could challenge for a spot in the 22 after being the sub last week, but this is a seriously tough side to break into. Even despite giving up a 46-point lead against Carlton, don’t expect Chris Fagan and the selection committee to overreact.

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