Bombers boosted, McEvoy back for Hawks

Dylan Shiel is one of three key Bombers players to return for the match against Hawthorn.
Dylan Shiel is one of three key Bombers players to return for the match against Hawthorn.

Essendon have been boosted by the return from injury of star trio Dylan Shiel, Orazio Fantasia and Jake Stringer for their pivotal AFL clash with Hawthorn at Marvel Stadium.

In a surprise move, the Hawks have named Ben McEvoy for the Friday night encounter, the No.1 ruckman back from an ankle injury a week earlier than expected.

Dylan Moore and Kaiden Brand are also in for Hawthorn, with Mitchell Lewis and Marc Pittonet dropped and Chad Wingard out injured.

The Bombers left out Aaron Francis, Ben McNiece and Mark Baguley for the clash between the two sides currently out of the top eight with 5-6 records.

Former top-three draft pick Sam Day is in for his first game of the season for Gold Coast in Saturday's match against St Kilda in Townsville.

Callum Ah Chee, Corey Ellis and George Horlin-Smith are also in, with Touk Miller and Jordan Murdoch injured.

The Saints made seven changes to the team thumped by Port Adelaide in China: Blake Acres, David Armitage, Daniel McKenzie, Brandon White, Hunter Clark, Jonathon Marsh and debutant Nick Hind coming into the line-up.

Port Adelaide veteran Hamish Hartlett will play his first game since round five last year when the Power take on Fremantle at Optus Stadium on Saturday

Hartlett, who has overcome a knee reconstruction and a hamstring injury, replaces Matthew Broadbent, who has taken leave to deal with a mental health issue.

The Dockers also welcome back long-term injury absentees in Griffin Logue and Stephen Hill, with Sean Darcy also returning.

Carlton have been boosted by the return of former skipper Marc Murphy, with Jack Silvagni dropped for their clash with the Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium on Saturday night.

The Bulldogs regained Tory Dickson and Hayden Crozier as they look to break a three-game losing run.

In Sunday's only game, North Melbourne added Taylor Garner, Paul Ahern, Curtis Taylor, Kyron Hayden and Tom Campbell to an extended squad to face GWS in Hobart.

Toby Greene heads the Giants' inclusions, with Matt Buntine, Zac Langdon and Dawson Simpson also in.

Australian Associated Press